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Conference to Focus on Vast Need for 'Village Power' Solar, Wind Power Seen as Solutions for Developing World

For more information contact:
Gary Schmitz, 303-275-4050
email: Gary Schmitz

Golden, Colo., Nov. 10, 2000 - It is a stunning paradox of the new millennium: Amid a myriad of technological marvels, more than a third of the Earth's population remains without a reliable source of electricity. A reality, that, in turn, limits access to clean water, healthcare, education and modern communications. More than 500 experts from government, corporations, financial institutions and non-profit organizations will confront that challenge this December at an international conference, "Village Power 2000—Empowering People and Transforming Markets."

One promising solution on the agenda: Renewable energy from the sun, wind, water, and plants. Small-scale renewable systems are ideal for thousands of remote villages, where transmission lines don't exist and fuel supplies are prohibitively expensive.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy research facility in Golden, CO, is sponsoring the conference, along with the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Winrock International. NREL's Director, Admiral Richard Truly, will address the conference, which is to take place Dec. 4-8 at the World Bank Building in Washington, D.C. Other noted speakers include Dan Reicher, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy; Nicholas Stern, chief economist, The World Bank; J. Brady Anderson, administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development; Frank Tugwell, president, Winrock International; Tim Wirth, president of the UN Foundation and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman, G-8 Renewable Energy Task Force and Royal Dutch Shell Group.

For more information on the conference or to register go to the Web site. Conference contact: Barbara Ferris, NREL, 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO 80401. Phone: 303-275-3781. E-mail Barbara Ferris.

NREL is a national laboratory managed by Midwest Research Institute, Battelle and Bechtel. In addition to its work on international energy issues, the lab is a leading center for research into photovoltaics, wind energy, plant- and waste-derived fuels and chemicals, energy-efficient buildings, advanced vehicle design and hydrogen fuel cells.


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