Eaton Energy Evolution Symposium in Chicago

I had the pleasure of attending the Eaton Corporation's Energy Symposium in Chicago on Monday and got to hear Governor Pat Quinn give the opening address. It was an extremely well-organized event filled with educational sessions and expert panels in the areas of energy efficiency, green building, hybrid & advanced vehicle technology and renewable energy (to see more information on Eaton and all of the panelists click here). I wish that I could have attended all of the sessions and heard all of the panelists; they all had such interesting things to say and opinions to offer on these various topics. I felt like I was in green school and the green geek in me was loving it!

Eaton created their series of Energy Symposiums around the country to prepare people and corporations for the challenges and opportunities that come from embracing a culture of sustainability and energy conservation. Eaton's COO, Craig Arnold, talked about Eaton's involvement in the solar farm that was recently developed on the south side of Chicago and supplies power to 1,200 - 1,500 Chicagoland homes. He also touched on what sustainability means to Eaton and how important it is that the growth of our industries and manufacturing be ecologically viable now and for the future. That, Eaton, is committed to "meeting the needs of the present without preventing future generations from meeting their own needs..."
The Governor's speech was also incredibly positive, uplifting and promising! I was very impressed with what he had to say and how committed he seemed in trying to "make the will of the people the law of the land..." He discussed what the Illinois State Government is doing to be more eco-friendly, such as requiring that all lightbulbs be replaced with LED or CFL bulbs, mandating the use of hybrid and flex-fuel vehicles for all government cars, using biomass for fuel efficiency and requiring that all new school buildings & major construction jobs be LEED certified. 
On a larger scale, Governor Quinn talked about Illinois' great purchasing power and how we need to use this strength to demand the ability to buy more sustainable, eco-friendly materials and services at competitive prices. He was quick to point out that the key to our prosperity as a state and country is "creating a green approach," and by doing so we can only improve our economy, number of job opportunities and manufacturing stability for the future. 
He also elaborated on the need to create more jobs in Illinois and emphasized that we have the greatest chance to do so by embracing renewable energy. Says Governor Quinn about renewable energy opportunities, "Our state has a large generating capacity for solar energy" and "we also need to expand our geothermal energy possibilities and look into the developing more wind farms, possibly by building them in Lake Michigan." 
25% of all energy in Iliinois must come from renewable sources by 2025 and I do believe that Governor Quinn is doing what it takes to accomplish that goal if not get there sooner. 
If anything this recent oil spill (and a myriad of other useless disasters that I won't even name) has taught us, renewable energy is and MUST be the wave of the future. It was refreshing and exciting to see so many people interested in and supporting ways to make renewable energy opportunities accessible and more commonplace. Kudos to Eaton for organizing this symposium and gathering together an amazing group of people who are helping to make this to happen! 
If you have any questions about the Eaton Corporation or the Energy Evolution Symposium you can contact Mark Horner, markhorner@eaton.com. 
 

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