As articles on everything from wind energy to computer recycling are showing up in my local newspaper, it looks as though Green Tech is finally becoming a popular mainstream topic. Of course, that's not all good news for me. For one thing, I've now got to wait 18 months to get my hands on the Toyota Prius hybrid car I'm trying to buy. It's also getting tougher to cover the green-tech beat, as I run myself ragged tracking the new bumper crop of conferences that are helping define the technologies, products and business practices that will build tomorrow's sustainable economy. Here's just a sample of the events I will attend that you should consider for your own dance card:
- Breakthrough Technologies Conference, April 27-28, Arlington, Va. These folks have set themselves the ambitious task of identifying the world's biggest problems, and the technologies to solve them. Although the inaugural event will be over by press time, go to www.arlingtoninstitute.org to see where this band of practical visionaries is heading.
- IEEE Symposium on Electronics & the Environment, May 10-13, Scottsdale, Ariz. This year's program will feature the latest in environmental design, manufacturing, new technologies, recycling, and policy from world leaders in industry, academia, consulting, recyclers and public-policy areas. See www.iseesummit.org for more information.
- Tour de Sol, May 22-25, New York and New Jersey. This is one of the premier showcases for energy-efficient transportation. Contestants from industry, academia and even private citizens demonstrate the merits of their electric, hybrid-electric and alternate-fueled vehicles in a 100+ mile road race. See www.nesea.org/transportation/tour.
- Solar 2004, July 10-14, Portland, Ore. Just as the name implies, it's the solar industry's premier event for technology of every kind-from heating systems to photovoltaics. Stop by www.asmeconferences.org/solar04.
- World Renewable Energy Congress VIII, Aug. 28-Sept. 3, Boulder, Colo. This one provides a global perspective on the technical and business aspects of wind, solar fuel cells, bio fuels, geothermal and more. See www.nrel.gov/wrec.
- Sustainable Resources, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Boulder, Colo. Rather than looking at developing nations as an economic and environmental burden, this conference looks on the other four-fifths of the world as an opportunity for green entrepreneurship. Check out this alliance of technologists, ecologists and business leaders who've united to develop practical solutions for world poverty at www.sustainableresources.org.
Electronics Goes Green, Sept. 6-8, Berlin. Get the European perspective on green design and manufacturing practices, electronics recycling, energy conservation and more. Take a look at www.pb.izm.fhg.de/ee.
Lee welcomes your e-mails with information on other great Green Tech events, or leads on used hybrid cars, at email@example.com.