Horse and Buggy + Wind Turbine = Indiana Amish Begin Embracing Renewable Energy

amish horse and buggy photo

photo: Cindy Seigle

The intersection of spirituality and environmental awareness seems to be getting more crowded. Over the summer there were a couple stories of Hindu temples, both in India and the United States, installing various forms of renewable energy. Pope Benedict XVI professed a slightly greener version of the faith at a speech in Australia (BBC News). Apparently, the Dalai Lama is down with solar (Greentech Media). Now the Amish are getting in on the act. The News-Sentinel gives us the details:

It’s Not the Electricity but Connection to the Grid
Though most people probably associate the Amish with living outside of modern life, this isn’t entirely correct. While initially (like in the 1920s...) there was hesitation to adopt electricity, it wasn’t so much the electricity itself that was the issue but the connection to the grid and therefore the outside world. Low-voltage electricity is perfectly permissible and will rising diesel prices, the cost of fueling generators is causing some people to look to renewables. Wind Power Will Supplement Other Off-Grid Options
The original article talks about Victor Wagler, 63 year old Amish man, estimates that the 87 foot tall wind turbine he is seeking zoning permission to install will pay for itself in three years; and along with a solar panel and his existing diesel generator, will run all the lighting on his house and barn, as well as his refrigerator and freezer.

But it’s not just Wagler. Brian Burkholder owns Solar Energy Systems in Nappanee, Indiana and says that probably 70% of his customers are Amish. Which is probably at least partially because he himself is Amish...

As was pointed out in the original piece, the interesting thing in this is that at least in this part of Indiana, a group of people associated with largely escewing the modern consumer world seem to be adopting renewable energy faster than the surrounding population.

:: News-Sentinel and :: Greentech Media
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