KySEA Discusses Clean Energy Solutions With South Asian Delegation
KySEA representatives Nancy Reinhart (KFTC), Casey Sterr (FCAN) and Andy McDonald (ASPI / Ky Solar Partnership) met with seven members of a "Climate Change and Clean Energy" World Affairs Council tour group yesterday.
Group members included individuals working in the clean energy field from the countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Pankaj of Nepal said he appreciated the presentations from KySEA and said he found the KySEA perspective on Kentucky's energy future refreshing and important to hear. He noted, "After talking to the state energy department (DEDI), you would think renewable energy is not an option for Kentucky for many years and that the only choices you have right now are using coal in new ways and nuclear."
Andy McDonald responded, "When you hear them say something like - wind isn't possible - what it means is, wind is currently more expensive than coal, not that wind isn't feasible."
In driving around Kentucky, Mr. Fazlur of Bangladash said he had seen many farmlands that were suitable for wind power. He encouraged the state to think more broadly about how to use wind power, stating that you don't need a very high or powerful turbine to make enough electricity for a farm. He said that small-scale renewables such as on-farm wind are "positively good investments and will pay back quickly."
Several in the room were struck by how little Kentuckians pay for electricity and Mr. Pankaj added "and there is no way that can be the true cost of the fossil fuel electricity you use. I pay 15 cents per kilowatt hour in Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world. We are completely micro-hydropower driven."
Two youth from the Frankfort High School also participated and shared their hopes for the future. They told the group that many youth they know take climate change seriously and that they are doing what we can to make a change.