Fair in Portage County promotes clean energy and sustainable living

The event is held by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association in Custer through Sunday
Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 6:54 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CUSTER, Wis. (WSAW) - The 32nd annual Energy Fair began on Friday. It’s a weekend long event to educate people about clean energy and sustainable living. The fair welcomes all.

“I think that it gets people interested. I think that it raises attention, raises awareness. I think it’s a place for people to ask questions and meet people. And I think the next step after going to a fair like this is making some real change in your community and within yourself,” said Jadon Swan, Solar Power Trainee.

There are classes, demonstrations, and workshops people can participate in to learn more about sustainable living and renewable energy. While the main goal of the fair is education, it also builds a community with similar interests.

One of those similar interests is electrical vehicles. According to the Department of Energy, electrical vehicles have many benefits.

“Operating and owning a vehicle because the fuel costs are less and because maintenance costs are less, in the long run electrical vehicles are cheaper actually,” said Jeremiah Brockman, President of the Wisconsin Chapter of Electrical Vehicle Association.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says transportation is the largest sector generating greenhouse gas emissions. Electrical vehicles emit half the carbon as gas cars do over the life of the vehicle. Something this fair hopes to educate people on.

“The sooner we curve the effect of burning the fossil fuels the better. Renewable energy is key to that,” said Jack O’Donohue, President of the Midwestern Renewable Energy Association.

The most common question people have about electrical vehicles is, how long will it take to charge?

“It depends on where you’re charging. You can charge really anywhere there’s electricity. But it just depends on how much time you have. There are fast chargers where you can charge in about 30 minutes. And there are slower chargers that can take a couple days,” said Brockman.

While electrical vehicles benefit many areas, there are issues from preventing this from fully blossoming in Wisconsin... for now.

“The infrastructure really isn’t there yet,” said O’Donohue.

“Right now, it’s not very good I’m not going to lie. Unless you own a Tesla it’s not very good. But there is a Wisconsin infrastructure plan that’s going right now. And there’s going to be electrical vehicle charging stations all over the state. They’re calling them alternative fuel corridors,” said Brockman.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation expects that by 2040 electrical vehicles will make up more than half of all passenger vehicles sold in the US.