Sunbelt Ag Expo goes green - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sunbelt Ag Expo goes green

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Several exhibits this year focus on alternative energy. To meet the growing energy demand in Georgia and across the nation several universities are looking at alternatives like solar energy and bioenergy crops that could help lower utility bills.

Georgia's EMC has installed solar panels at 25 high schools across the state, including Irwin County. Students found you need a lot of these panels to light just half a hallway. They're hoping students will develop new technology to make better use of the sun's power.

Georgia's power needs continue to grow, but the sources are limited.

"We need more energy. We have maxed out or almost maxed out our energy supply in the state of Georgia and we're looking at new ways to bring in energy," said Marty Myers of Green Power EMC. 

That's why Georgia's EMC hope to get the next generation thinking about alternative energy sources, with their fun display at expo and solar panels like this one at high schools that show the impact.

"It's been determined by some students that will light a hallway, half a hallway for the day," said Myers.

The University of Georgia is also looking at the technology to power pumps in fields where power lines are scarce.

"That system you can plug and play right in place where your livestock without having to run power lines. This system is a 20 year life on it without batteries," said UGA's Dr. Gary Hawkins.

Switchgrass planted in the field at Expo is another alternative energy source that's growing in popularity. It's a bioenergy crop, that does well in the southeast and helps coal fired power plants reduce their emissions.

"So it reduces their carbon emissions because if you look at the amount of biomass that's above ground here all of that is carbon that's taken from the air and used to make this plant material," said Cory Christensen of Blade Energy Crops. 

Georgia's EMC's Myers say the technology is important. "It needs to become cost effective so to do that we need to find more efficient ways to make the sun work for us.

So they can continue to provide less carbon internsive power, affordably for the next generation.

The Expo and the city of Moultrie have gone green this year, joining forces with the EMC's of Georgia to recycling water bottles from this years show.

The EMC's of Georgia have formed Green Power EMC which is a joint effort to generate and sell green energy from renewable resources.

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