Tad Montgomery

The elephant in the room

Renewable Energy Conference discusses interim measures to move the state closer to its goal of 90 percent renewable energy

There's an African saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Here in Vermont, we have an equally daunting task - achieving 90 percent renewable energy by 2050. The African metaphor would imply that we can do so one house, one business, and one institution at a time, and this sentiment was in full swing at the recent Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) conference in Burlington.

In addition to the single bites of solar hot water, air-source heat pumps, and farm-scale methane digesters, the conference offered lessons in stalking elephants (community solar systems and non-fossil-fuel transportation); in dressing elephants (financing options for small and large-scale projects); and a number of recipes for cooking elephants (successful wind projects, net-metering legislation that allows for people to share renewable energy systems, and designing buildings that produce more energy than they consume).

The 90-percent-renewable energy goal is daunting, and a couple of major initiatives were unveiled at the event to help Vermont move along.

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Killer service from a punk bike mechanic

Few businesses have come close to the level of care that this young anarchist provided

Last summer, my trusty, old Motobecane touring/commuting bicycle had a bit of a seizure in the form of a cracked head tube. I did not begrudge it; he'd been a trusty friend who carried me many, many thousands of miles without complaint. I had dubbed him Morgan early in...

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Social cannibalism

A focus group on KENO inspires ‘newfound sadness at the state of the economy and Vermont’s government’

I just participated in a survey sponsored by the Vermont Lottery Commission. It was a little bizarre, somewhere on a spectrum between a push poll and cheerleading camp. I walked out with $100 in cold, cool cash in my pocket and a newfound sadness at the state of the...

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