Kick-off Event, University of Nova Gorica, Nova Gorica, Slovenia
The green bike tour will kick-off on the Italian/Slovenian border with an exchange between the tour participants and University students and faculty. Presentations will include a summary of renewable in Iowa, policy responses to climate change and efforts by Slovenians to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Americans and Slovenians alike will then ride the first leg of the tour 20 km to Ajdovscina.
Tour Solar Plant, Ajdovscina
The tour arrives in the Vipava Valley and the beautiful Mediterranean town of Ajdovscina. A visit to the University of Nova Gorica campus in Ajdovscina, where UNG school of Viticulture and Oenology is located, will be highlighted by a discussion of the role of renewable energy on the farm, the role of the federal farm bill in the promotion of new energy systems in agriculture and the move to greater use of stewardship practices in both Europe and the U.S.
Strong research by other departments at UNG campus in Ajdovscina is also related to organic semiconductors for photovoltaic cells and to materials for hydrogen technology – UNG researchers will be there to discuss latest advances in this field.
The Green Bike Tour will drop by the Pipistrel Company, an aircraft manufacturer located in Ajdovscina. Their R & D facility has solar on its roof that is one of the largest array in Slovenia.
Visit Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana
The Tour makes a stop at the Jozef Stefan Institute, the premier Slovenian research institute, for an academic exchange on energy technologies. The Institute has a staff of 850 specializing in natural sciences, life sciences and engineering. Their mission is the accumulation and dissemination of knowledge at the frontiers of natural science and technology to the benefit of society.
Tour Solar Plant, Siska Technical School
The Tour will visit a High School for Technical Fields called Siska, where they have a 22KW array and are training solar technicians for employment in the solar field. They have installed separate arrays in different locations of the site to compile data on conversion and optimal energy production.
Meet with Government Office for Climate Change and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ljubljana
The Green Bike Tour arrives in the capital of Slovenia and meets with federal representatives of Slovenia. Climate change, renewable and alternative energy sources rank high on the Slovenian federal agenda. Slovenia initiated the “Green Group”, an informal group of geographically comparable states to promote the environmentally-sustainable policies. The Tour will be meeting with Mr. Jernej Stritih, Director of the Government Office for Climate Change and Mrs. Ana Novak, Director of the Environmental Desk of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Meeting with Ecovitae
Ecovitae is one of several strong Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) working in Slovenia on the issues of environmental protection and alternative energy. Founded in 2003 by a group of young ecologists, Ecovitae has a strong connection to the School of Environmental Sciences at New York University, and to the University of Nova Gorica, where several of its members trained. The Green Bike Tour will visit with Ecovitae about the role of NGO’s in the development and adoption of public policy. For meeting location see http://www.okoljski-center.si/en
Tour Hydro/Solar Plant, Mavcice
The Green Bike Tour begins its trip up the valley toward Lake Bled, stopping at the Vrhovo Hydroelectric Plant in Mavcice. The plant began operation of a 77 kw solar array in 2008. The 360 photovoltaic modules are mounted on the flat roof of the hydro plant. Slovenia has used their water resources for the production of electricity and the Tour will learn more about how that has been done.
Meeting with Bled Local Officials (tent.) Visit with El-Tec Mulej and Eco School Project
The Green Bike Tour visits a primary school Josipa Plemlja in Bled, a participant in the Eko Sola national project to raise awareness in young people of energy and environmental issues. A joint project of the engineering firm El-Tec Mulej and the Society for Energy Economics and Ecology, the curriculum has a strong foundation on the energy and water systems of the school itself.
Visit Strahinj, Naklo Secondary School biotechnical center
The Green Bike tour leaves Bled and begins to make its way back west, stopping by for a visit at the biotechnical training center. This school also has participated in the Eko Sola project and has implemented green technologies on their campus.
Avce Pumped Storage Power Plant
The last day of riding will bring the bike tour by the Pumped Storage Power Plant on the River Soca, the first of its kind in Slovenia. This plant has increased the production of peak load electricity for the country through an elaborate water-control technology. The site is also attractive to bicyclists for its massive concrete basin.
Wrap-up event, University of Nova Gorica
The Green Bike Tour is sponsored by The University of Iowa's Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, The Iowa Policy Project, and The Fred & Charlotte Hubbell Foundation, and Kelly Webworks.