Posts Tagged ‘energy’

h1

Supporting Israel’s Growing Energy Sector

November 25, 2013

Karen Kelich is a Social Media Administrator at the International Trade Administration’s office at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.

Natural gas workers work on equipment. Recent natural gas discoveries in Israel could help the country become an energy exporter.

Recent natural gas discoveries in Israel could help the country become an energy exporter.

The State of Israel, once an energy-scarce nation among the Middle Eastern oil giants, is on the brink of a historic shift. The implications of the 2009 discovery of the Tamar natural gas field, along with the much larger Leviathan field discovery in 2010, are such that Israel now faces a future as an energy producer in its own right with the potential to become an exporter.

The workforce needed to build this industry is substantial. A wide range of professionals, from legal and commercial to technical and scientific, is required for sustainable industry development. That means job creation and economic benefits for the country as a whole.

It also presents an excellent opportunity for U.S. businesses with experience in the energy industry.

The International Trade Administration’s Commercial Service, in partnership with Tierra Majors and Ustudy Global, and in collaboration with the Australian Trade Commission and other interested stakeholders, is organizing a first-of-its-kind Skills Training Needs for Israel’s Gas Industry Conference, on Feb. 25, 2014.

This will bring the best and brightest in natural gas skills training to support Israel’s entry into the industry. Representatives of American companies can register for the event, potentially making connections and learning about future export opportunities. No nation can provide more experience and expertise to support Israel as its natural gas industry develops.

We’ve also invited a number of academics from the leading petroleum engineering programs in the United States to participate in the event. Engineering is the second most common subject foreign students study in the United States, and we hope to attract some aspiring engineers to American universities for their studies. This helps support another important American export sector.

As American companies participate in Israel’s natural gas energy movement, we know they can help Israel to safely and effectively take advantage of its natural resources. That not only helps support American exports, it also supports the Israeli economy. It creates jobs, furthers education, and supports growth.

It deepens the relationship between the United States and one of its strongest allies.

This conference will create excellent opportunities for Israeli companies, regulators and educational institutions to learn about the skills necessary to work in this exciting industry and for international training providers to market their services to a dynamic new market. We look forward to supporting the even, and we are excited to see how it furthers the American commercial relationship with our Middle Eastern friend.

h1

ITA Leads Largest Ever Civil Nuclear Trade Policy Mission to Vietnam and China

June 13, 2013

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology Nguyễn Quân and others in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Under Secretary of International Trade Francisco Sánchez and U.S. delegation members meet with Vietnamese Minister of Science and Technology
Nguyễn Quân in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This May, I was able to lead the largest ever U.S. Civil Nuclear Energy Trade Policy Mission to Hanoi, Vietnam, and Beijing and Ningbo, China. This mission enabled us to address important policy issues and highlight how U.S. civil nuclear technologies and services can help Vietnam and China meet their civil nuclear energy goals.

The U.S. government delegation included representatives from the White House, Department of Energy, U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and of course the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration. The industry delegation included 11 American companies in Vietnam and 15 in China.

Vietnam and China offer abundant opportunities to U.S. civil nuclear companies:

  • Vietnam is steadily developing its nuclear power program and its civil nuclear market is estimated to be worth $10 billion and expected to grow to $50 billion by 2030;
  • China is the world’s fastest growing civil nuclear market. 29 of the 65 reactors under construction globally are in China and the country’s nuclear industry is expected to grow to nearly $300 billion by 2020.

In Vietnam, our delegation met with government officials and also participated in a Best Practices workshop attended by 50 representatives from Vietnamese ministries, state-owned utilities, and regulatory agencies. Delegates shared their expertise on a variety of topics including safety improvements post-Fukushima, and how nuclear regulators and industry can cooperate to enhance nuclear safety.

In China, we met with eight ministries and companies to discuss policy issues such as liability, local content, and intellectual property rights. The mission concluded with a visit to China’s Sanmen nuclear power plant site, where the world’s first AP1000 reactor – designed by U.S. company Westinghouse – is being built.

Our trade mission also lined-up with other important events recognizing the value of our economic relationship with Asia.

This week, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council is holding a series of meetings with U.S. businesses. I was also able to speak about the importance of Asia at the Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s Think Asia Think Hong Kong symposium in New York.

I am proud to contribute to our important trade relationship, and to have led such a distinguished delegation to these key civil nuclear export markets. This is another example of our efforts to help U.S. exporters find new opportunities to sell their goods and services and support American jobs.

h1

An Energy Revolution for Israel

November 9, 2012

David McCormack is an International Trade Specialist in ITA’s Manufacturing and Services unit.

The Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel business delegation.

The Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel business delegation.

Led by the Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce Ken Hyatt, the U.S. Commerce Department Oil and Gas Trade Mission to Israel introduced 13 companies and 2 universities to the growing oil and gas industry in Israel. The participating organizations included two premier U.S. universities – The University of Texas, Austin and Texas A&M University, Kingsville.  Other Delegates included leaders in oil field services, logistics, consulting, data integration, consulting, and manufacturing.

The mission built on excellent trade relations between the countries, including America’s first ever Free Trade Agreement, signed by the U.S. and Israel in 1985.  More recently, U.S. Senator, Mary Landrieu brought the first ever oil and gas Certified Trade Mission to Israel in 2011, and the Government of Israel sent an inter-ministerial delegation to the U.S., earlier this year to see extensive energy development firsthand. Finally, on October 24, the US-Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG) met in Washington, chaired by U.S. Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, and Israeli Treasury Director-General Doron Cohen.  A main topic of discussion was enhanced U.S.-Israel cooperation for natural gas development.  As the JEDG signed an agreement that will extend U.S. loan guarantees of $3.8 billion to Israel to 2016, the trade mission to Israel departed for Tel Aviv to explore the histroric opportunities to help build Israel’s new energy economy.

According to a 2010 United States Geological Survey (USGS) assessment, the Eastern Mediterranean contains approximately 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, with a current market value of $240 billion. Industry representatives also report that they expect to discover oil in these offshore fields.  Finally, exploration efforts are also ongoing onshore Israel, creating opportunities for manufacturing, drilling, pipeline installation, etc.  Without a developed infrastructure to produce enough of their own energy domestically, Israel has historically been an energy importer. This will not always be the case, and many have recognized that these recent developments represent an energy revolution.  Many expect Israel to become a net energy exporter, but right now, extensive infrastructure and devlopment is needed.  U.S. companies are ready to deliver.

Hosted in Israel by Senior Commercial Officer Maria Andrews, the trade mission delegates attended the 2012 Israel Energy and Business Convention (IEBC), conducted site visits, attended receptions, participated in a roundtable discussion with Israel’s oil and gas industry, and participated in more than 100 customized business meetings.  The official program began at the IEBC, where Hyatt delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, and the U.S delegation was warmly received.

At the roundtable discussion hosted by Hyatt, Senator Mary Landrieu, and the Chair of Israel’s oil and gas association, Uri Aldubi, the delegation received presentations from Noble Energy, Zion Oil, and Genie Energy.  Noble briefed the delegation on their discoveries of around 30 trillion cubic feet of gas offshore Israel, and their future hopes for more gas, as well as oil, discoveries.  Zion, the largest onshore petroleum exploration leaseholder in Israel, spoke about how to do business in Israel, as a U.S. company, and their optimistic outlook towards Israel’s onshore potential.  Finally, Harold Vinegar, from Genie Energy, shared his vision for the development of oil shale in Israel.  Vinegar, formerly a Chief Scientist at Shell, stunned the crowd with his estimate of 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Israel’s shale deposits.  That evening, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, hosted the delegation at his residence for an exclusive networking reception with the leaders of Israel’s new energy economy.

Thanks to the efforts of the Commercial Service in Tel Aviv, the delegation received a rare and intimate tour of the port of Ashdod, and discussed opportunities in pipeline installation and logistics with port authorities.  Keeping a full schedule, they also attended government meetings in Jerusalem, and a high-level presentation and networking session, with industry and government leaders, hosted by the Herzliya Conference, and the Law Firm of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, a CS Strategic Partner.

While in Israel, Hyatt met with several key government offices, including the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, the Ministry of Trade, and the Office of the Prime Minister

U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu highlighted the opportunities for academic cooperation between the U.S. and Israel.  There are almost no Israeli born petroleum engineers still in Israel.  Universities in the Gulf states represent the best programs in petroleum and gas engineering, and specialized energy MBA’s in the world.  The 2011 and 2012 Oil and Gas Trade Missions to Israel are laying the groundwork for Israel’s energy industry by bringing advanced petroleum and gas engineering programs to Israel.

The delegates completed the mission feeling optimistic about the commercial opportunities in this sector.  The companies realize that doing business in Israel is often a long-term proposition and this will be the first of hopefully many visits to Israel that the companies will make.  The U.S. Commercial Service and our Strategic Partners are standing by to assist U.S. firms in accessing the historic opportunities represented by Israel’s energy revolution.

h1

Twelve U.S. Companies Participate in the First-Ever Energy Themed Trade Mission to Russia

June 5, 2012

Francisco Sánchez is the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.

Russia’s impending accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) has sparked a boom of foreign business interest in the Russian economy. Couple this with the Russian governments’ concentrated investments in energy technology and you have a situation ripe for trade deals between American and Russian companies. As such, I am leading a trade delegation of American energy companies to Moscow, the first such energy-themed mission in the history of U.S.-Russian relations.

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Under Secretary Sánchez welcomes members of a 12-company U.S. trade delegation to Moscow for the first stop on an energy efficiency trade mission to Russia. The delegation will meet with public and private sector officials in Moscow and St. Petersburg to discuss export opportunities in a growing sector

Representatives from 12 American energy firms are accompanying me on a business tour of Moscow in search of export opportunities for American energy firms. The Russian market represents incredible potential and invaluable relationships – opportunities that America cannot afford to neglect. Successful investments in the Russian energy market could spur a windfall of job creation and economic growth at home while American companies rake in profits from these beneficial partnerships.

We’ve watched U.S. merchandise exports to Russia double from 2005 to 2010, and then grow nearly another 40 percent in 2011 alone. American business exports to Russia now top $8 billion dollars a year. This is a market we must capitalize on. Recognizing this growth and potential, the Department of Commerce led an automotive technologies mission to Russia in April and was eager to do so again.

The Russian government is implementing an Energy Strategy that calls for energy efficiency, sustainable development, energy development and technological development, as well as improved effectiveness and competitiveness. The demand for affordable and efficient energy will only grow as the global economy evolves, a phenomenon that will continuously stimulate demand for high-quality, energy-efficient products and services. Appropriately, the companies on this trade mission can supply exactly that. As I highlighted in an opinion piece in The Moscow Times, many U.S. businesses on the mission have a particular interest in Russia’s focus on smart grids, green-building and road infrastructure.

This mission is a historic event for both the American and Russian energy industries. U.S. companies, manufacturers, and workers already are global leaders in clean technology production and services. And that is why I am privileged to lead this mission to expand exports to the region, exports that will create jobs at home. As a nation, we should be proud of the expertise our companies offer, as well as the innovation and advancement we are known for. These investments today will pay dividends to our citizens tomorrow.

h1

Featured Trade Event: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Executive Business Development Mission

September 9, 2011

December 5–9
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Executive Business Development Mission
Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey: the blue mosque and Hagia Sofia at sunset (© yusuf anil akduygu/iStock)

Istanbul, Turkey: the blue mosque and Hagia Sofia at sunset (© yusuf anil akduygu/iStock)

In 2010, the federal government’s Renewable Energy Export Initiative identified Turkey as a priority market for U.S. exporters in the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries. This mission will focus on opportunities for U.S. companies active in those fields. Francisco Sánchez, under secretary for international trade, will lead the event and will be accompanied by a senior representative from the U.S. Export–Import Bank and participants from 15 to 20 U.S. firms.

Turkey’s market is ripe with possibilities for U.S. companies selling renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services. Energy demand in Turkey is expected to grow between 5 and 7 percent annually until 2023. Such growth will require more than $100 billion of investment in power generation, transmission, and distribution. Turkey already has several large geothermal, wind energy, and hydroelectric projects in development and has enacted renewable energy and energy efficiency laws that call for increased investment in those technologies.

Overall, Turkey is a fertile and growing market for U.S. exports. In 2010, the United States exported more than $10 billion in goods to Turkey, a 40 percent increase over 2009. The Department of Commerce projects that this trend will continue in 2011, with U.S. exports to Turkey expected to reach $12 billion.

Participants in the trade mission will benefit from a variety of events tailored to their needs, including 10 to 15 prescheduled meetings with potential partners, distributors, and end users; a networking reception at the U.S. ambassador’s residence; one-on-one meetings with key government decisionmakers; and briefings by energy specialists from the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service (USFCS) in Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir.

The cost to participate in the trade mission is $4,055 for large firms and $3,285 for small and medium-sized firms (with 500 employees or fewer). There is a $500 fee for each additional company representative, regardless of company size. Mission participants are responsible for travel, lodging, most meals, and incidentals. Applications must be received by October 17, 2011. For more information about the trade mission, visit its Web site or contact Glen Roberts of the USFCS, tel.: (559) 348-9859; e-mail: glen.roberts@trade.gov, or Serdar Cetinkaya of the USFCS, tel.: +90 (312) 457 7203; e-mail: serdar.cetinkaya@trade.gov.

h1

Civil Nuclear Trade Mission – Poland

July 19, 2010

Francisco J. Sánchez is the Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade

I have spent the last few days in Warsaw, Poland, on the first stop of a Civil Nuclear Trade Mission.  Traveling with me are other member of the Department of Commerce, as well as team leads from the Department of State and the Department of Energy.  The impressive government team represents this Administration’s commitment not only to nuclear energy, but to working together as an inter-agency unit to fulfill the goals of the National Export Initiative.  We also have the pleasure of the company of nine of America’s top companies in the nuclear energy sector, as well as representation from our academic community.  Together we represent the leadership, skills, support, and partnership to help this region of the world meet their nuclear energy goals.  And our strong ally and friend Poland is the perfect place to start – here’s to old friendships and new partnerships!

h1

Green Building Takes Root in Copenhagen

December 14, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Keith Curtis is a senior Foreign Service Officer currently based in the U.S. Commercial Service’s Office of International Operations. He is the Commercial Service’s senior advisor on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The atmosphere in Copenhagen is charged with activity.  Nobody is saving on personal energy – and everyone seems to be filled with a passion to make their point and make things happen.  At the U.S. Presence Center at Bright Green, the International Trade Administration (ITA) was making its point bright and early at the 9:00 Green Building Seminar and the 10:15 Bright Green, “Solutions at Your Doorstep” panel discussion.  Bringing the momentum of the Green Build Road Show to Copenhagen, we laid out for the delegates, NGOs, and students the wide and deep variety of everything going on in the States on Green Buildings.  The audience seemed to especially like the story of the Greening of the Empire State Building as told first hand by Clay Nesler, VP of  Johnson Controls (did you know Johnson Controls produced the first commercial thermostat?).  He described how the tens of thousands of windows would be replaced and lighting and installation changed office by office in the ¼ mile high icon of the American Industrial Age so that when done, they would be using 37% less electricity.  Roger Platt, VP of the US Green Building Council talked about how Green Building was spreading around the world, and the Department of Energy talked about how it was creating the first net-zero (uses no electricity from the Grid overall) large scale commercial building for their National Renewable Energy Laboratory, in Golden, Colorado.

The Green Building panel was followed by a second discussion organized by ITA to explain the wide range of bio-fuels, energy efficient manufacturing, and renewable energy technologies that the U.S. is delivering to the world. Kirsty Mac Donald of Intel talked about the modernization of the grid and all the intelligent hardware that will go into homes and vehicles.  Did you know that every wind turbine has a half a dozen IT chips in it?  Honeywell told how their bio-fuels are now being tested in regular commercial airlines for trans-Atlantic flights.  The audience was curious and impressed, but the students, who sported T-shirts saying, “How old will you be in 2050?” added a special sense of urgency to the challenges we were all talking about, although the industry presentations pointed them to ways that U.S. technology is already creating real change and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

And we heard our second Cabinet official, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, speak to a full house as we looked forward to hearing our own Secretary Gary Locke speak tomorrow.  There is certainly a lot going on already at the COP15 even before the 100 Heads of State arrive.

h1

The Green Build Road Show Hits the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

November 6, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Frank Carrico is the Regional Senior Commercial Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden. He has also served the U.S. Commercial Service in Iraq, Brazil, Ukraine, Japan, and Germany.

We’ve had a great stop in Denver.  Our Commercial Service office here, under expert guidance from Paul Bergman, coordinated an in-depth visit to Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) today.  While on the road, the Commercial Officers are not only highlighting market opportunities in Europe to the sustainable building clients we meet, but we’re learning an incredible amount about the green technologies that make the United States a global leader in this area.  That’s why we’re at NREL.

We’ve had briefings on NREL’s programs that were focused on development and commercialization of new technologies in building energy efficiency, biofuels, and alternative power production, with particular emphasis on integrating innovative photovoltaics to yield lower and more competitive cost of production of solar cells for kilowatt hours (Kwh) of energy.  NREL is DOE’s only laboratory of its twelve research facilities that is focused on developing energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies (EERE).  A critical part of the lab’s mission is the acceleration and transfer of NREL technology into existing energy markets.  NREL’s Partnership Development programs for its industry partners foster the integration and application of NREL’s R&D.  These programs are allowing nascent renewable energy companies to accelerate entry into the private marketplace; become cost-competitive; work with worldwide partners in renewable energy; and, expand markets in the U.S. and overseas.

NREL’s $460M budget for 2009 includes $110 million of funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which is being used to increase collaboration through Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) and to expand international cooperation with foreign governments.    Most recently, NREL has become a founding partner of SolarTac Technology Acceleration Center for establishing a major commercialization center in Aurora on the outskirts of Denver for integrated photovoltaics and energy efficiency technology commercialization. Other founding partners include SunEdison, Xcel, and Abengoa Solar of Spain.  NREL expects that at least 30 companies will become part of SolarTac within the next year.

Commercial Officers and Specialists offered suggestions on how our domestic and international offices could assist NREL and DOE with its work in overseas markets and to open international markets for U.S. companies working with NREL on innovative technologies.  DOE is already working with CS Stockholm and Copenhagen on special presentations at its Bright Green trade event in December in Copenhagen during the UN COP-15 Climate Change negotiations.

Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officerss speaking with Colorado Governor Bill Ritter

Commercial Service Senior Commercial Officerss speaking with Colorado Governor Bill Ritter (right). (Photo Department of Commerce)

Following our whirlwind site visit at NREL, Paul Bergman and the CS office took us downtown for a special visit with Governor Bill Ritter.  Each of us had the chance to introduce our work in our markets to the Governor and to explain how we could help with increasing export sales for Colorado companies.  In particular, we had the opportunity to explain how the Fedex-sponsored April trade mission to Europe would be especially valuable for Colorado companies.  The Governor promised that his office would follow up with us on the trade mission and will explore closer cooperation on our export programs.

h1

Green Build Road Show – Moving on to Denver

November 5, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Thomas Moore is Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy. Mr. Moore has previously served as the U.S. Commercial Service’s Deputy Director General, overseeing 2,000 employees in more than 80 countries.

After two successful days in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Commercial Service’s Green Build Road Show landed in an unseasonably sunny and warm Denver, Colorado, for another two-day program touting the unparalleled export opportunities in Europe’s green build and renewable energy sectors.

During the morning program, an audience member posed an interesting question:  Did we have any optimism that the United States would follow and match Europe’s current lead in the domestic deployment of these technologies?  As it turned out, the questioner had arrived late and missed most of the morning presentations.  Otherwise, he would have known that he was addressing a roomful of green entrepreneurs with strong confidence in an inevitable low-carbon future.

The Road Show had touched down in exactly the right place:  Denver is a hotbed of green technology development.  While the Road Show was conceived to educate U.S. companies on the European green build market, it has also been an eye-opening learning experience for the U.S. Commercial Service’s European officers and industry specialists.  We have found exactly what we were looking for:  A rich vein of new and innovative products and specialized expertise that should find an attentive market in Europe.

Pam Reichert, the State of Colorado’s Director of International Trade, opened the program with a description of Colorado’s strong commitment to what they have creatively coined the “New Energy Economy.”   “We’ve become a template for the rest of the nation for creating jobs, diversifying our energy portfolio, increasing energy security, and reducing our carbon footprint,” she said, citing the State’s success in attracting European investment in green technologies and in exporting nearly $2 billion last year to Europe.

The morning program featured presentations by two Colorado entrepreneurs who epitomize this success and should serve as encouraging role models – and mentors – for others to follow.

Dan Kigar, CEO of The Colorado Yurt Company, described his experiences in exporting 25 tent-like yurts for a major cultural exhibition in Paris.  Dan plans to conquer the world with his tent structures based upon the famous design of Genghis Khan, updated to the 21st century and pushing the envelope in use of sustainable technologies and recycled products.  He also cautioned exporters to beware of “bumps in the road” such as EU standards conformity issues, and he thanked the Commercial Service in France for helping him overcome these obstacles when they arose.

Mark Chen, Marketing Director for Abound Solar, discussed his company’s success selling thin-film solar photovoltaic modules in Germany, the world’s largest solar market with 50 percent annual growth in recent years.  Mark elicited laughs from the audience when he compared the bureaucratic paperwork required by Germany for a solar installation – two pages – versus the tabletop full of paper required by California.  But he did caution companies that they would face difficulties, albeit surmountable, in dealing with the European Union’s regulatory regimes for chemicals and electronic products.  (FYI:  The Commercial Service can help!)

The keynote speaker at lunch was David Hiller, Executive Director of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, a joint venture of four premier public research universities in partnership with the private sector, and an important element in the infrastructure that has attracted foreign investment to Colorado.  David highlighted the strong public support and commitment among Coloradans for clean energy solutions.

Will this public commitment be replicated nationally, as one audience member wondered?  We had a room full of people betting their sweat and financial equity that it would!  On a personal note, it was wonderful to renew acquaintances with our top-notch U.S. Commercial Service colleagues in the Denver Export Assistance Center.  Kudos for a fantastic job organizing this event!

h1

Energy Efficiency: A Key Component of U.S. Competitiveness

November 2, 2009

(This post contains external links.  Please review our external linking policy.)

Ryan Mulholland is an international trade specialist in the Manufacturing and Services unit of the International Trade Administration specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Scott Dietz, VP of Investor Relations at Owens Corning World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio led David Kincaid and me around an impressive facility built as a model of sustainable architecture on a tiny reed and grass covered spit of land jutting into the Maumee River.  Glass artworks from a NYC artist who incorporated the legendary glass fibers Owens Corning is so famous for graced doorways, halls, and the soaring entryway to the building.  The tour reminded me that U.S. industry is a place of world class innovation—and in Toledo, Ohio, a city once devastated by economic downturns, that spirit of American innovation is alive and well, as energy efficiency has become a cornerstone for the city’s new growth and prosperity.

International Trade Specialist Ryan Mulholland speaks at the Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio

International Trade Specialist Ryan Mulholland speaks at the Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning in Toledo, Ohio. (Photo U.S. Department of Commerce)

On September 21, 2009, the International Trade Administration (ITA) organized a Forum on Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing at Owens Corning to help manufacturers learn about state and federal resources available to promote efficiency.  Part of an ITA Energy Efficiency Initiative aimed at promoting the development and deployment of energy efficient technologies, this one-day event attracted 86 participants. Toledo was chosen because of its efforts to reinvigorate its manufacturing industry by taking a leadership role in developing the clean and efficient industries of tomorrow.

Presenters from ITA’s Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Department of Energy’s Industrial Technologies Program, and the Environmental Protection Administration’s Industrial Energy Star Program spoke about their programs.  Others from the State of Ohio Energy Office, Ford Motor Company, Eaton Technologies, Rockwell Automation, North Star BlueScope Steel, and Energy Industries of Ohio shared about their experiences with and the positive benefits derived from energy efficiency improvements. Each participant gave a brief presentation on the theme of energy efficiency.

Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce Mary Saunders introduced the event and moderated both panel discussions.  Energy efficiency “represents a key component of the Obama administration’s national strategy to support job growth,” Saunders noted, adding that “with efficiency, you don’t have to depend on scientific breakthroughs or engineering miracles… (but rather)… is a way of maximizing the amount of energy you get from existing sources.”

Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur addressed the group noting that energy efficiency improvements are key to Toledo’s ongoing success, and added a word of congratulations to Owens Corning for winning EPA’s Energy Star Partner Award.

Following a keynote address from Owens Corning’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Frank O’Brien-Bernini, forum participants visited the Clean and Alternative Energy Incubator at the University of Toledo.

Reactions by participants ranged from surprise at the number of available resources to gratitude, upon hearing there are individuals in government standing on behalf of American industry.  It was an effort well worth the hard work and cost.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 392 other followers