September 18, 2006

Public-Private Mix Will Ignite Growth

By: by Pradeep Haldar, Guest Essayist, Democrat and Chronicle


More than ever, Americans are acutely aware of energy's economic impact. Howewer, one might not recognize New York state's growing leadership role in the development of renewable energy. More than 170 companies are involved in the work. Many are developing and producing new, environmentally friendlier energy technologies that are critical to reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels, reducing fuel costs and generating opportunities for economic growth.

In one unique partnership based at The College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany, educators, researchers, government and industry are working together to drive the economic engine of the 21st century. Through this partnership, more than $3 billion has been invested at the college's NanoTech complex in just the past five years, attracting new jobs and global companies to New York.

The college's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) also develops and implements new, environmentally friendly, renewable energy sources. E2TAC, a statewide partnership, involves major research universities, federal research and development organizations and private industries.

Using a collaborative approach and multiple partnerships, E2TAC is helping to drive economic opportunity related to clean energy technologies across all of upstate, perhaps most successfully through its New Energy New York and New York Loves Energy initiatives.

New Energy New York was established to pursue common technology initiatives and focus attention on New York's leadership in clean-energy resources. Its 31 companies and organizations — including General Motors, Delphi, Greater Rochester Enterprise, EnrG and the Rochester Institute of Technology in western New York — employ about 5,000 workers and buy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of goods in New York state every year. Together, they are pursuing a variety of energy-related technology issues, as well as generating significant economic benefits.

NY Loves Energy has created a national brand for organizations that have joined forces to promote the advantages of starting and building energy-related companies in New York.

With collaboration, we can succeed in an industry where the stakes are high: New Yorkers alone spend over $40 billion a year on energy, third most in the country.

Clearly, New York has a solid start in the alternative energy arena, and by continuing to develop the cooperative power of the public, private and academic sectors, we can assure a bright future.

Haldar is director, Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center, College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University at Albany.

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