Rhinebeck Rotary Features Presentation on Solar Energy

On Monday, January 4th, during its regular meeting at The Beekman Arms, the Rhinebeck Rotary featured a presentation on solar energy by Ron Kamen, Rhinebeck resident and co-founder of EarthKind Energy. Mr. Kamen has spent more than 25 years fighting to make energy more efficient, clean, and affordable. He has worked not only as a consumer advocate on energy issues, implementing cutting-edge programs for Fortune 1000 companies, he has led the New York Solar Energy Association, which laid the groundwork for the world-renowned New York Sun program.


Mr. Kamen began his presentation with an overview of the growth of solar energy usage in the past decade, which has grown exponentially in New York State with 4 million homes now solar-powered and solar jobs ranking fourth in growth in the state. “Thomas Edison predicted solar power,” Mr. Kamen said. “We have about one hundred years of fossil fuels left worldwide. Solar offers one thousand times more fuel than the world uses.”

1.4.16 Rotary

Pictured (left to right) Ron Kamen of Earthkind Energy and Rhinebeck Rotary Secretary, Bill Dowden

He went on to discuss the reasons companies and individuals hesitate to make the transition to solar: its expense, risks, and the sense that waiting will yield a better deal in the future. He debunked the expense issue by showing the many ways to finance a home or corporate solar system, including buying outright, leasing, or using a community solar system. “It’s essentially the cost of a new car, twenty to thirty thousand dollars, which can be financed over time, and which gives you major tax credits,” Mr. Kamen stated. He emphasized the efficiency of heating and hot water generation through a solar thermal air system, citing Bard College and Benedictine Hospital as adopters. Mr. Kamen urged Rotarians not to wait too long to join the solar energy bandwagon. “The incentives are available now, and in ten years, they will be gone.”


The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets on Mondays at 12:15 pm at the Beekman Arms throughout the year. The Rotary is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national and international service projects. The weekly meetings feature speakers covering a variety of human-interest topics. Interested guests are welcome to attend.


For information on becoming a member, to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, or to attend a meeting to hear a specific speaker, please call Public Relations chair Lou Trapani at 845-876-3088, ext. 14.