Climate & Energy Technology Panel at New College listen03/04/10 Virginia Hoffman
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Innovation in Climate and Energy Technologies was the topic of a panel discussion hosted by New College in Sarasota last night.
Andrew Walker, President and CEO of the New College Foundation, said the panel discussion is part of a series where the college brings innovators of industry and technology to speak with students and the community.
Walker said,"There are innovated companies right here in our own area that people don't even know about."
Nick Gladding of the Florida Energy and Climate Commission said early programs in Florida did not bode well but that Ocean Energy Resources using wave technology and harnessing the energy of the Gulf Stream hold the most promise. Fred Bennett, CFO for Lykes Brothers, said their company will work on long-term sustainability by developing a Green Health Community. Mary Anne Bowie said her company, Eco Trans, is working with New College.
Bowie commented, "We have created a sustainable transportation relationship with New College."
Moderator Frank Alcock asked from the vantage point of Green Economy what one piece of legislation should pass to remove obstacles to a sustainable green economy. Fred Bennett from Lykes Brothers said he prefers the renewable standards to the feed and tariff plan and energy finance districts.
Bennet said, "Cities like Sarasota could install solar on your roof and manage the grid."
Nick Gladding of the Florida Energy & Climate Commission said comprehensive energy legislation is needed and most people do not realize existing programs are about to end, and unless reenacted Florida will be behind in renewable energy. Explaining his commission is calling for a back up bill to established Pace Bonds.
Gladdening said, "This allows Communities like Sarasota to opt into programs that support homeowners and allows them to install solar on their roofs and pay back a loan over time."
The speakers agreed that partnerships between business and government are essential to create a Green Economy and see that as the solution to renewable energy problems.
Nick Gladding had one final point about education, "Its astounding how many people in the energy field are entering their fifties so our educational institutions need to be going full speed ahead."