Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen says an upcoming energy summit bringing together top state political, business and science leaders can help result in less dependence on gasoline.
“Certainly, one of the things the whole gas crisis pointed up to me was how dependent we are on narrow sources,” he said.
The aim of the Governor’s Summit on Clean Energy Technology, slated for Oct. 14-15 in Knoxville, is to develop strategies to make Tennessee a leader in the sector.
IF YOU GO
* What: Governor’s Summit on Clean Energy Technology
* When: Oct. 14-15
* Where: Knoxville Convention Center
* To Register: www.tn.gov/energysummit
“This could be a huge growth area,” Gov. Bredesen said. He said global investments topped $148 billion last year in segments such as energy-efficient lighting, alternative fuels, and renewable sources such as solar and wind.
Stefan Jacoby, Volkswagen Group of America’s chief executive, will keynote the summit Oct. 14.
Others taking part include former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, TVA Chief Executive Officer Tom Kilgore and Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason.
The governor said interest should be broad, from academics, business people, union representatives and environmental advocacy groups.
“This is really a way of trying to get issues developed and come up with a strategy,” he said about the summit, an outgrowth of his task force on energy policy.
Jim Frierson, who directs the Advanced Transportation Technology Institute in Chattanooga, said the governor is serious about energy efficiency.
“If people aren’t serious about electrical efficiency, they will be at the end of this month,” said the vice chairman of the Chattanooga Green Committee, noting a nearly 20 percent increase in electricity rates which began Wednesday.
J.Ed. Marston, the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of marketing, said the city has a number of companies in the green and clean energy sector.
“We’ve got a high concentration of experience and expertise from TVA and folks retired from TVA,” he added.
Gov. Bredesen said innovation in the clean energy sector is leading to higher skilled, better paying jobs.
Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...