Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Energy Innovation Center offers discussion about forests as fuel

Exploring the past, present and future of biomass energy in Vermont

Tuesday, June 2 — RUTLAND – GMP is hosting a discussion about Vermont’s leadership in biomass energy and the outlook for its future at the GMP College Connections lecture series, Tuesday, June 2, at the Energy Innovation Center in downtown Rutland.

The free public event begins at 5:30 p.m. and will last approximately an hour. Light refreshments will be served.

Sarah Mittlefehldt, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Green Mountain College, will lead the discussion on how Vermont came to be a national leader in developing community-scale biomass energy systems and how that can help us think about the future of biomass energy in Vermont.

Mittlefehldt directs the Environmental Studies Program at Green Mountain College, and has examined the cultural and political barriers that renewable energy advocates have faced in their efforts to decentralize power systems—particularly in the context of biomass (wood) energy. She holds a PhD in forestry and environmental studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Master’s degree in education from Harvard University, and a BA in Social Ecology from Carleton College in Minnesota.

In addition to Green Mountain College, the other participating colleges are Castleton College, Community College of Vermont (CCV) and College of St. Joseph.

“I am fascinated with the relationship between our political systems and grassroots social action and how they affect energy generation,” Mittlefehldt said. “We’ll talk about the history of biomass energy and some of the cultural barriers to developing this local energy, as well as implications for other forms of decentralized energy.”

The monthly GMP College Connections is a lecture series created as part of an agreement between GMP and all four Rutland County colleges to work together to bolster economic, educational and community development. Talks are presented by faculty from each of the Rutland County colleges. The presentations explore a variety of energy issues, including the science of energy, renewable power, financial concerns and the psychology of energy use. All talks are held at GMP’s Energy Innovation Center in Rutland.

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