A full representation of Tennessee’s advanced energy sector participated in the February 2014 listening session, held in Chattanooga, Tenn. Industries represented include engineering, architecture, construction, manufacturing, power generation, energy management, energy efficiencies, renewable energy transmission, research and higher education. Also in attendance was Assistant Secretary David Danielson of the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, City of Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason and University of Tennessee Executive Vice President, David Millhorn.
A lively discussion took place during the listening session, with full support of the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council and its mission to promote advanced energy as a job creation and economic strategy in the state.
Several key themes emerged from the discussion:
- There should be ways to bridge the gap between basic research and applied research in the state. Several attendees expressed the need to connect companies, America’s national labs and Tennessee’s research assets.
- Attendees discussed policies to remove market barriers so the best advanced energy technologies, companies and jobs can thrive in Tennessee and across the country.
- Educating elected officials on advanced energy is key.
- International competitiveness is a challenge. There is no reason Tennessee can’t have its fair share of the $1.1 trillion, global advanced energy market.
Finally, attendees agreed that roundtables, listening sessions and other events that the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council produces are very beneficial to connect our assets with economic opportunities for Tennessee’s advanced energy companies and technologies.