Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Portland as Region's Renewable Energy Hub

Although Salem is the state's capital, much of the outward activity surrounding renewable energy in the state takes place in Portland. Is Portland the ONLY place? Absolutely not. But it is becoming the center of many of the activities and discussion supporting those notions that may begin conceptually in Salem and come to fruition in other parts of the state.

Most certainly, having a major metropolitan area like Portland be the center bodes well for the rest of the state.

In Oregon's Solar Climate, a number of solar companies were profiled as having operations in the state. Some are in the Portland area, while others are around the state. But let's not underestimate the value of a metropolitan area that has a number of things going for it to draw companies if not to the city, certainly to the state:
  • A Governor who gets it
  • A Mayor who gets it
  • A port system that excels in air, water and rail commerce
  • A university system receiving grants to further the research and innovation surrounding renewable energy
  • Substantial momentum building through the base of companies already here - and looking to expand their operations
Combine these traits with a nascent effort in Energication and you round out the offering as a region that is beginning to establish a K-12 awareness for renewable energy. The "output" (our students) will begin to feed the need - and the virtuous cycle continues.

What other examples have you seen locally? How do they apply in fostering renewable energy education for our students? What more do we need to do? What's your own first move?


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