Many countries around the world have a national or local renewable energy association. In the United States, select regions each have an association, such as the Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association and the Midwest Renewable Energy Association. In other countries, such as the Philippines, Israel, and the United Kingdom, there are nationally recognized associations. In general, a renewable energy association works to support the development of sustainable energy practices in the community. It teaches the public about the uses and benefits of renewable energy and of energy efficient businesses and homes.
Many times a renewable energy association begins with a group of concerned residents. They may look into the rural and urban needs in their community for renewable energy. They often pick an approach that will work best for the majority of the residents or businesses in their given area. Sometimes an association will focus on one particular renewable resource, while others will dabble in a variety, such as electric power, biofuels, and solar energy. Often times a renewable energy association will work with a wide range of organizations, such as project developers, power suppliers, service providers, equipment produces, and fuel suppliers – in addition to the residents of the area.
One of the main benefits of a renewable energy association is the development of public information programs for the residents of a community. For example, programs can give the public basic information on renewable energy, teaching them how to change their everyday lives in favor of renewable energy, and encouraging them to communicate with renewable energy supporters. The goal is to teach people the advantages of renewable energy and efficiency for their homes and businesses.
In addition, a renewable energy association may have workshops, events, and tours. For example, a workshop on small windmills for homes will teach residents how to save money on their heating and electric bills. It will also teach them how a wind generator works for home use and, in the alternative, for business uses. Events typically include fairs promoting sustainable living. Many times there are tours that take people to other homes, businesses, or industry plants that use renewable energy.
Residents can find a local or national association near them. Most have dues, meetings, and a wide range of events and programs. It can be an educational and life-changing step. Becoming informed and joining a renewable energy association can be both fun and rewarding.