2014 Clean Energy Investment Briefing

Local Chambers Well Positioned To Foster Economic and Job Development in Clean Energy Space

With developments in clean energy and renewables coming at an ever-faster pace, local chambers of commerce are well positioned to harness the energy of entrepreneurs and investors to build their communities in profitable and sustainable ways.

That was the message delivered by clean energy experts who spoke to chamber executives during the annual clean energy investment forecast hosted by Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy. The Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce joined the briefing as a featured speaker, highlighting the critical role that chambers can play in convening stakeholders, creating public-private partnerships to create clean energy hubs and hosting demonstration projects.

Michael Haley of the Greater Raleigh Chamber’s Economic Development Office described how his region undertook a survey of area businesses and found an emerging hub of smart grid firms that allowed the region to create a Smart Grid Cluster that the chamber then sought to develop through traditional chamber roles such as conveners, partners, amplifiers and economic and job development.

Also speaking to approximately 60 chamber representatives from around the country, Sheeraz Haji, CEO, Cleantech Group, told local chambers that market disruption is still ongoing in the transportation, lighting and home energy sectors presenting new opportunities for local businesses. Matthew Nordan, Managing Partner of MNL Partners, a clean energy investment firm, described how clean energy companies are positioning themselves in the US and abroad and how cities are attracting investment by creating a start-up ecosystem where they provide start-ups with shared space and capital equipment, demonstration sites and more.