Monday, October 27, 2008

A Windy Week

Home wind generation is coming of age. This is a windspire from Mariah Power, who bill their design as a quiet, unobtrusive, and inexpensive option for home wind energy production. Mariah Power recently announced plans to build their next generation windspires in Manistee.

One of the themes of my campaign for Leland Township has been 21st Century Vision. I tell anyone who listens long enough that we have to make sure that our zoning ordinances allow for home-based wind and solar energy generation. Leland Township is drafting new zoning laws to follow up our new Master Plan; I want to do everything possible to see that our new zoning ordinances don't cost our residents money by denying their right to make their own power.

Knowing what we need to do and knowing how to do it are two different things. I jumped at the chance to sign up for a Home and Farm Wind Power workshop at the MSU Experiment Station this afternoon. This is a timely topic; I was one of 90 people to sign up. With another 30 on the waiting list, there are already plans to repeat the workshop later this winter.

I will be at an all day class later this week called How Do We Plan For Our Renewable Energy Future?, covering more of the planning and zoning aspects of wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower.

I'm also running ad ad in the Leelanau Enterprise this week, listing some of my supporters and issuing this challenge:
Adjusting to higher energy prices and an unpredictable world economy challenges us to reweave the threads of our local economy, planning for home-based businesses and alternative energy while preserving our natural beauty. Our community has the natural resources and talent to thrive in the 21st century –let’s do it together!
When I think about "reweaving" I think about the threads of money and energy leaving our region: money spent on fuel and energy, on pumping holding tanks, on food from far-flung places when our farmers raise such nice food right here. I always told my kids "You can't spend the same money twice." and that goes on a township level, too. We need to spend our paychecks enriching our local economy.

No comments: