This blog by Renee Goneau, Marketing and Events Coordinator for the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation’s Clean Energy Manufacturing Center, is cross-posted from the Clean Energy Manufacturing Center's website.
In July, the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation joined with several organizations for Making It Here 2012: Manufacturing Our Energy Future conference in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to BGAF, the conference was presented by the American Clean Skies Foundation and sponsored by Advanced Energy Economy, Alliance for American Manufacturing, American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Clean Energy Manufacturing Center, GLWN, McDonald Hopkins, NorTech, Ohio Department of Development (ODOD), Transformer Engineering, LLC (Trenco) and WIRE-Net. Louis Schorsch, Executive Vice President of ArcelorMittal who was the keynote speaker, stated that energy and manufacturing can drive the economy sustainably. Schorsch mused that it’s not “Clevelandwarming” or “USwarming”; it is global warming, and this is a global economic crisis with underlying imbalances.
After two days of breakout sessions, the message from the 200 attended and 50 speakers assembled was loud and clear: Let’s all work together — manufacturers, the Department of Energy and the Department of Agriculture — to connect the dots and ensure insourcing rather than outsourcing, let’s make it here and let’s make it together! There were three main categories covered at Making it Here (Supply chain, Technology and Policy) that were broken into five focuses (Wind, Solar, Natural Gas, Advanced Transportation and Energy Efficiency).
Two tours were offered as part of the conference in Cleveland, one at Transformer Engineering, LLC, a company that has specialized in the design and manufacture of custom magnetics since 1937, and Lincoln Electric, the site of the largest known urban wind tower in North America. The 2.5-megawatt wind turbine was open for the tour as was the automation plant tour that included robotic welding demonstrations. The evening ended in style aboard the Nautica Queen for a networking and dinner cruise where attendees watched the sun set on Lake Erie.
The conference is best wrapped up with this quote from Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, “The choice for our country is clear. We can make these technologies today or import them tomorrow."