Between June 5 and 11, Joe Bolkcom, Outreach and Community Education Director at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, tries to conserve his own energy while learning about energy efficiency in Europe, as he bikes with colleagues across Slovenia in this year’s Green Bike Tour.
Here, you can follow his journey.
Bolkcom, a veteran of previous bike events, including a 2002 tour in Northern Europe, joins four Iowans – led by David Osterberg, executive director of the nonpartisan Iowa Policy Project – in peddling to renewable energy sites and meetings with public officials and scholars in several Slovenian cities.
The tour gives participants a chance to learn about world-leading innovation in Slovenia, while spreading the news about Iowa’s own advances in promoting wind and solar energy.
Bicyclists on the tour ride with solar panels that power laptops that help send word back to the United States about their tour.
They begin at the University of Nova Gorica near the Slovenia’s western border with Italy, then head east to a solar plant at Ajdovscina.
Other tour stops include a solar plant at Ljubljana, a hydro/solar plant at Mavrice and a pumped storage power plant at Avce. Visits also include meetings with the Slovenia Government Office for Climate Change and local government officials.
Joining Bolkcom and Osterberg are:
- John Moreland of Des Moines, staff assistant for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, caseworker on agriculture, rural development and the environment;
- Edward Woolsey of Prole, Iowa; owner and CEO of a small renewable energy business, Green Prairie Wind Energy LLC; and
- Professor Mladen Franko of Ljubljana, Slovenia, vice president for education at the University of Nova Gorica (UNG) in Slovenia, and professor in the UNG School of Environmental Sciences.
And you can hear even more news from the tour on David Osterberg’s blog for the Des Moines Register.