A quick note to share what I heard this morning on NPR and thought is relevant to…well…me really. But you too if you live in Cleveland and are interested in renewable energy.
Frank Jackson, mayor of Cleveland, is in Germany this week, drumming up business to move to the US, specifically Cleveland and most specifically, in renewable energy. This is great news for the region because it could help bring back some manufacturing jobs (especially skilled manufacturing, as required by solar). Aside from more reasonable wages the US can offer to businesses thanks to the recession we’re currently in, Jackson is pushing the research capabilities at Case Western Reserve University and other local schools. He is also citing Cleveland’s strong infrastructure that could be critical to moving product within this country by rail, truck or plane. Add to that the cultural amenities of the region and it starts to look like many of the reasons I moved back here. The trip was financed by the Cleveland Foundation, a great local charity that pushes for more development in the region.
So far, I have seen news that IBC Solar is planning to move their US headquarters to Cleveland, after rejecting California and NJ. However, a deciding factor will be if Ohio pushes for using renewables to provide some portion of power to utility customers, as many other states have started mandating. Remember, simple solar panels are not the only options here; solar concentrators and wind power are on the menu also, with wind being a very likely candidate due to great northern winters reducing the amount of total sunlight and the potential of strong winds on Lake Erie.
While I remain cautiously optimistic about the potential of more renewable energy moving to Cleveland, I think that it is wonderful that Frank Jackson is out pushing for better development of this industry in Cleveland; I hope these efforts will continue here and will be pushed as a national agenda by the new administration. Are you in Cleveland? Interested in renewable energy? Let me know in the comments section or shoot me an email.