The Renewables Research and Policy Institute is very aware of its portmanteau of high capacity intelligence, lean architecture, regional, national and international exposure. The implications that this essential mix brings to bear are its innovative and strategic pace setting. The downside is sometimes it takes a while for lumbering legacy institutions to play catch up.
As a strategic intercession, born of technology research and policy awareness mixed intricately with experience, RRPI spent the last year
Through Board membership in the creation of Urban and Rural Agricultural cooperatives development. The process also includes the development of a helm cooperatives association , the Community Table Association of cooperatives. (CTA). CTA is currently being hosted by RRPI.
Extending the awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy support as key to the sustainable development of these coops, urban agriculture and all agriculture in general
Presently, RRPI is the process of inserting a Sustainable AG/RE energy cooperative (Minnesota Aquaponics and Renewable Energy Agricultural Cooperative – MAREAC)
RRPI-Engineering in concert with RRPI-Education and Training are currently also involved in North High School, Minneapolis Community Education Youth program as consulting experts in the grow room projected to become an aquaponics project as well as the Rain Water Harvest (RWH) in their Community Shared (sourced) Agriculture (CSA) attachment
As reported in the USDA Blog, long after RRPI’s recognition, AG secretary Tom Vilsack and EPA administrator Lisa Jackson where on the heels of the immense impact of Agriculture on the environment.
Similarly sustainability conversations in Minneapolis around agriculture’s impact on environment, food, health, justice and the environment with RRPI‘s ‘Bunmi Odumuye have been held in groups such as
A. Paul Aason – MPCA commisioner, Karen Monahan – EJAM administrator, Keith Ellison US congress,etc
B. Dr. Robert Jones U of MN VP. Systemic Academic Administration, Dr. Luxford Baxter -CEO CUT Foods Express, Glenn Ford CEO Praxis Marketplace etc
C. Jim Harkness, President of Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy IATP, Ladonna Redmond – IATP lead; new project on health, justice and the food system, Seitu Joes/Will Allen – MacArthur Fellows,
D. Collie Graddick Mn AG Dept. & urban farming/agricultural cooperatives visionary, Brooke Dierkhising – Community Table Association President, Ross Abbey JD, LEED – Bright Green Consulting and many others essentially determining water as the largest sustainability issue followed by energy.
Facilitated by a Turner Foundation study grant a White Paper written by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) entitled ‘Addressing the Energy-Water Nexus: A Blueprint for Action and Policy Agenda'; summarizes as a blueprint “addressing three broad elements: policy/codes, research, and programs. In developing it, ACEEE and AWE have (has) analyzed and consolidated contributions from approximately fifty individuals, many of whom participated in a full-day workshop in December 2010. The goal of this (the) blueprint and policy agenda is to provide a framework for collaborative action, funding, and policy development.
This blueprint represents an important first step in a long-term dynamic process. It is intended to be informative and direction setting. ACEEE and AWE recommend that the following initial priorities be implemented over the next year: Work to incorporate cost-effective energy and water efficiency measures into building codes, equipment standards and tax credits (policy items 2, 3, and 5). Work on tax incentives, codes, and standards is now taking place, and it is important that energy and water efficiency both be integral parts of these discussions. Survey existing programs that clearly address the energy-water nexus to identify examples of best practice programs. Identify the elements contributing to success of these programs so they can be replicated. Prepare a report for policymakers and water utilities that identifies lessons learned from energy experiences, addresses rate-related barriers to efficiency program implementation, and helps to clarify utility disincentives for encouraging efficiency. Develop a baseline of total energy use by water and wastewater utilities and water use by electric utilities, which would include raw water transmission and treatment; treated water distribution; and wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal energies, not just
energy use at the plant level. Establish ongoing water and energy working groups to increase cooperation among energy and water agencies, utilities, and communities, to share best practices and recognize the nexus as the first step toward working together.
The blueprint further contains eight broad thematic elements, each including a number of action strategies, all of which will require complex collaborations among funding sources,
advocates and nonprofit organizations, government agencies at every level, trade associations, energy and water utilities, consumer groups, business, regulatory agencies, universities, national laboratories, policymakers, and the U.S. Congress.
By setting bold, innovative new directions that can begin
immediately, the developers hope that this blueprint will
change the way water and energy are used, measured, and managed, and change the relationships and actions of stake-holders, creating new, more active and visionary coalitions.”
The requirement for the cooperative, MAREAC, becomes self evident when the impact of Agriculture (footprint) within the energy – water nexus is the focus. Aquaponics in this context is the efficient renewable energy supported, 10% of conventional agriculture water consumption, soil less, space conserving-vertically articulated, year round (temperate climes capacity when articulated within structures), simulated wetland, organic agriculture industry farming.
Additionally, it is a growing industry in the Midwest that efficiently uses abandoned and or financially stressed properties. Aquaponics provides an extremely high job density regardless of the compared variable it is ratio with i.e job/project, jobs/land utility……../ energy utility/ water utility for mall green jobs production program bar none.