Governor Gary Locke was one of the featured speakers at a press conference hosted by WTC in John M. Fluke Hall on November 16, 2001. The event announced the release of a study by Climate Solutions entitled, “Poised for Profit: How Clean Energy Can Power the Next High Tech Job Surge in the Northwest.” According to the report, “the Pacific Northwest has the opportunity to be a global leader in the technology-based clean energy industry.” This was reinforced by several Washington companies who exhibited products that included a biodiesel clean energy vehicle, a photovoltaic panel, a Magna Drive Adjustable Speed Drive (energy efficiency torque transfer technology) and a Micro Wind Turbine.
The report, commissioned by a prominent group of Pacific Northwest utilities and economic development agencies, recommended public policy action to support technology development, commercialization and market development — similar to the support provided more traditional high tech sectors in Washington by local and state governments.
“We’re on the threshold of an energy-efficiency revolution. If we’re smart, as we’ve already proved in our high-tech industry, we’ll stay a step ahead of the market and provide the clean-energy decade with the tools it needs,” said Governor Locke. He is looking to WTC to provide some leadership for creating the state’s energy cluster.
The major market analysis concluded that aside from the public benefits of using cleaner energy sources, the current clean energy industry in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia is $1.4 billion a year and expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2021, employing an additional 12,000 jobs. On a global scale, the industry is expected to reach $180 billion over the next 20 years, about twice the size of the passenger and cargo industries.