Warren, Ohio-It’s harder to find a location on Main Street USA than Courthouse Square in downtown Warren. My office is on the banks of the winding river of the Mahoning River, directly opposite the Trumbull County Courthouse and the local sheriff’s office.
This idyllic Midwestern environment may not be the place to expect the development of world-leading cutting-edge energy technology, but at BRITE Energy Innovators, my non-profit energy startup incubator, it’s exactly It’s happening.
Innovation in the energy sector is one of the true drivers of the Americas economy. Many of these innovations are happening in clean energy these days, such as solar startups, energy efficiency businesses, renewable hydrogen technology companies that are closely linked to BRITE Energy or in front of West Market Street.
Working with dozens of innovative Ohio energy entrepreneurs and small business owners, I’m convinced. Bolder federal investment in clean, renewable energy is needed. If we don’t increase investment now, the US will compete in global clean technology, especially as the European Union and China double their own ambitious climate goals and increase government investment in clean energy technology and innovation. Will be frustrated.
In a recent letter, I was co-signed by the national nonpartisan business group E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs) and sent to federal lawmakers, including Republican Anthony Gonzalez, whose district is just west of Warren. Rep. Tim Ryan, a Democrat in the Warren region, helped secure the initial funding for Bright Energy Innovators 10 years ago. Republican Senator Rob Portman and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown know the value of investing federal dollars in loans and grants for innovation. We also know that federal lending and grants after the 2008 financial crisis have helped nearly 500 companies recover and thousands more.
Here in Warren, clean technology innovations are also creating jobs. BRITE Energy currently owns 30 companies in its portfolio. We connect them with a network of partners and funders to provide affordable downtown office space and use of advanced equipment, technology, data and market analysis.
Since 2011, BRITE Energys’ efforts have helped more than 250 companies grow, create nearly 500 jobs and secure nearly $ 250 million in investment. With strong and lasting support from Ohio’s legislators, this success can be replicated and extended throughout the state and the Midwest.
Already, Europe is at the forefront of the world’s renewable hydrogen industry, and the latest stimulus funding from the European Union will only fill it. In Europe, for example, the EU has allocated more than one-third of its over $ 900 billion stimulus fund to support climate change-related projects. Much of this money will also help European companies advancing the same kind of technology that small Ohio clean energy companies are working on.
Ohio can compete with this. Paul Matter is a co-founder of PowerToHydrogen, based in Columbus, one of the portfolio companies. In a recent interview, Paul commented on how Ohio is leading the way in gaining market share in the growing global hydrogen fuel cell market. He has already dismantled the wind on Lake Erie, a previous investment from NASA to support the development of fuel cells near Cleveland, and the hydrogen tank (Worthington Industries) and other components (Cleveland’s GrafTech). Citing the hydrogen production ecosystem of.
We need to make sure that the companies that underpin our future are based in Columbus, Cleveland and Warsaw, not in Copenhagen or Warsaw.
Given the enormous economic and employment impact these innovators have on Ohio and the ever-increasing competition from abroad, federal investment in clean energy innovation needs to be increased.
Rick Stockburger is President and CEO of BRITE Energy Innovators, a Warren-based energy technology incubator.
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