San Diego has long been a global leader in the clean energy revolution. The municipality is consistently high-ranking on lists of clean cities across the United States and in 2015 set the aggressive goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2035. To see the state of California following suit to approve a mandate three years later is a major victory for community members and climate activists, reinforcing the fact that society is at the cusp of a major energy overhaul.
As consumer interest and demand for renewables increase, so does the need for accurate and accessible information on policy change, technological advancements and its social and economic implications.
With so many rapid developments occurring within the industry, San Diego businesses and organizations anticipate a potential information gap between policy, product and consumer. Taking action into their own hands, dozens of local nonprofits and industry experts are joining forces to pass that information directly into the hands of receptive San Diegans.
The San Diego Clean Energy Fair is a one-day educational event taking place at the San Diego Electrical Training Center on October 6, offering learning opportunities and activities for the whole family. The event will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. with the aim to provide accurate education and information about solar power, solar battery storage, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, workforce development and more.
"We are thrilled to be hosting the San Diego Clean Energy Fair and bringing needed education about clean energy to our community," said Cristina Marquez, Outreach Coordinator at the San Diego Electrical Training Center, "Rooftop solar is a mini powerplant on someone's home and having skilled labor is a cornerstone in helping us move to 100 percent clean energy."
Attendees can benefit from an array of relevant workshops including Solar and Energy Storage 101 where nationally certified energy practitioners will provide thorough and up to date information on how solar works, available warranties, incentive programs, recent policy changes as well as how rate increases from San Diego Gas and Electric pertain to solar customers. LG Chem’s Linh Tran will speak about energy storage and the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners will video conference in from New York to discuss how to select a solar provider.
Workshops pertaining to businesses and institutions will also be on the agenda, including the Commercial Solar 101 and Commercial Energy Storage Solutions. High-profile case studies, including the largest solar installation in Major League Baseball at Petco Park, make for rich content and an invaluable learning opportunity for fiscal and eco-conscious businesses.
While the pledge for clean energy helps to reduce our reliance on foreign fossil fuels, it conversely drives a demand for local jobs in renewables. To meet this demand, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 569 will be offering a session on the San Diego Electrical Joint Apprenticeship, providing information to those interested in joining the solar industry as electricians.
In addition, participants will have the opportunity to explore electric and hybrid vehicle options at the electric vehicle showcase and learn how to harness the sun to power your vehicle. Representatives from Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, Kia, Fiat and Zero Motorcycles will be present with a variety of electric and hybrid vehicle options to explore. They will also be joined by members from the Electric Auto Association of San Diego, sharing their vehicles and experiences with attendees.
Nonprofits and businesses will also be bringing the latest technologies together in one place at the cleantech fair. There will be a screening of the documentary film “Catching the Sun”, as well as a solar oven demonstration by the San Diego Solar Cooking Club and various educational activities for children.
"The San Diego Clean Energy Fair is an expansive event with various educational activities to cater to all audiences in the pursuit of a brighter future," said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, a co-host of the event, "While the city of San Diego is committed to transitioning to 100 percent clean energy by 2035, now is the time to learn how your business and family can do its part, and save money by doing so."
This grass-roots educational initiative comes at a time when clean energy is abuzz in the media, electricity rates have reached record highs and climate related natural disasters are more frequent and devastating than ever. The economic, social and environmental demand for clean energy is clear. The solutions, however, seem to remain a mystery to the average consumer. Initiatives from the Clean Energy Fair aim to change that by offering free to the public education and activities to help propel San Diego forward in its quest for 100 percent clean energy.
The San Diego Clean Energy Fair website offers more information on the event schedule and participants. Learn more and RSVP at visit cleanenergyfair.org.