The Sustainable & Alternative Energy Student Council (SAESC, pronounced "say-seck") is a collaboration among students from different colleges within U-M creating sustainable and alternative energy solutions. The group is an “umbrella” organization, consisting of project teams that critique and encourage each other: Biodigester, Bamboo Bikes, and Pedal-Powered Energy.
The Biodigester project focuses on providing rural communities with renewable methane energy for cooking. Biodigestion uses a community of microorganisms to degrade organic waste into biogas (methane and carbon dioxide) and a nutrient-rich fertilizer slurry. Madagascar is the pilot country for this project, as the country is home to one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. The team hopes to replace wood with methane in stove cooking, discouraging and decreasing deforestation. They aim to implement their first unit in 2012, with a long-term goal of expanding out of Madagascar.
The Bamboo Bikes project is dedicated to providing rural communities with bamboo bicycles, which increase access to basic resources and healthier lifestyles. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants, and a strong alternative to metal for bike frames. The project aims to improve the economy and welfare in regional communities by educating and training women, youth, health care services, and farmers the project to build and maintain these bicycles. Bikes will be provided to Ugandans at low costs due to subsidies provided by sales in the U.S. The team plans on issuing 2,000 bikes over a 5-year period.
The Pedal-Powered Energy team is planning a campus-wide “pedal-powered” film festival. The potential for energy acquired from pedal power (bicycle power) is tremendous. The group will be building or modifying all components of the project, from the motors in treadmills to the projector and audio system. By having an interactive, fun, and invigorating film festival powered by students riding a stationary bicycle, they hope to encourage the use of alternative energy, as well as inspire others to think beyond traditional energy sources.
Team Leaders: Jordan Muratsuchi (jordantm)