Andover, MA - Today State Representative and Congressional candidate Barry Finegold called for an annual Clean Energy Summit to be held in the Merrimack Valley, to bring together the venture capital community, local alternative energy companies, educational and environmental leaders, and local elected officials, to pursue the goal of making Merrimack Valley the national leader in alternative energy development. Barry understands the problem of global warming and dependence on fossil fuels and is not only talking about the crisis we face, but offering a bold and new vision for addressing it.
"The Merrimack Valley has all the resources necessary right here to build this new frontier of innovation and make this area the leader in alternative energy development," said Finegold. "Through an annual summit, we can get a sense of what our needs are. We need to harness the resources at our fingertips - and providing a forum for all sectors of the alternative energy community in Merrimack Valley is the first step in doing so."
Forum participants would include members of the Mass Hydrogen Coalition, business leaders from Nuvera Fuel Cells (Billerica, MA) and Ballard Systems (Lowell, MA), the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, educational leaders from the valley's technical and higher education programs, environmental leaders, local officials, and representatives from the venture capital community.
"We have everything from the human talent to the educational and business resources to the political will of local elected officials to fight and create a national model for industry development," said Finegold. "With gas prices skyrocketing and no end in sight, there is no better time to press on in our quest to become energy independent. We must think big."
Issues to be addressed at the summit would include:
Action items for the coming year
What we lack in the area - and how to bridge those gaps
What we must do to become the leader in alternative energy development
Finegold is a longtime supporter of alternative energies. On Beacon Hill, he introduced the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Road Map," a package of policy ideas designed to invigorate our economy and protect the environment with research-and-development grants and tax incentives for Massachusetts companies developing fuel-cell technology. The legislation also creates a $1,500 state tax credit for consumers who purchase hybrid vehicles.
From this legislation, Finegold helped start the Massachusetts Hydrogen Coalition, a public/private partnership dedicated to retaining and promoting hydrogen fuel cell technology in the state. That legislation is one of the reasons that the alternative energy leader Nuvera Fuel Cells is now in Billerica, MA.