As debate over U.S. energy policy stalls on whether or not we
should drill for more oil, it's heartening to see states taking the lead
on real energy solutions.
And it's not just California anymore. From Texas's multi-billion dollar wind projects to Pennsylvania's rust-belt renewal, states across the country are realizing the
many benefits of developing a green economy.
The latest state to join the fray: Indiana.
In 2006, the state's governor, Mitch Daniels, released a report
called Accelerating Growth (PDF), calling for economic renewal through innovation. A snippet:
Accelerating Growth is intended to help revive Indiana's remarkable history of pragmatic entrepreneurship and economic dynamism. By focusing on innovation, talent, and investment -- the key themes of our plan -- we can build for the future by rediscovering the excitement of Indiana's innovative past.
That initial spark encouraged a group of Hoosiers to found the
Indiana Energy Services Network (IESN). The group realized that their
state had a number of untapped assets in the automotive, energy
storage (think batteries), and power electronics sectors. By
establishing a network of businesses, academic institutions, workforce
development agencies, and other key players, IESN hopes to make the
region a research and innovation hub for a clean, green economy.
But where to start?
In June, Rocky Mountain Institute
convened 40 people from businesses, universities, and workforce
development agencies across the state to answer just that
question. Among the organizations represented: Delphi, Cummins, Rolls
Royce, Purdue University, Notre Dame University, and Duke Energy.
With the right policies, investment, and
collaboration, the participants believe Indiana could build a fleet of plug-in hybrid electric
vehicles that communicate with and provide services to the
grid. Proving this vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept could position Indiana as a leader
in fuel-efficient transportation solutions, create jobs, and
revitalize the state's economy.
For more information, check out this report.
Image Credit::Kyle Duba