The Midwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit was held on Wednesday, January 11th at the Fairmont in Chicago. The event was cosponsored by the World Resources Institute, Midwestern Governors Association, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and Great Plains Institute. The summit hosted over 130 participants who included utilities, consultants, nonprofits, manufactures, and government officials.
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave the opening remarks. He spoke on the importance of promoting industrial energy efficiency and producing ideas that the entire Midwest could work together on. Governor Quinn also spoke of his strong support for plans for the high-speed rail line which would connect Chicago with St. Louis and in his words “make Champaign Illinois a suburb of Chicago”.
The summit included three panel discussions that examined the technical potential for industrial energy efficiency improvements, as well as dynamic market conditions and polices that tip the scales toward energy-savings capital investments. The first panel gave an overview of the Midwestern economic and policy landscape, as well as current challenges and opportunities.
Panelists included representatives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 3M, and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO). The second panel presented on recent studies estimating the potential for energy efficiency improvements by manufacturers. Panelists focused on the scope of energy efficiency potential in the manufacturing sector within the Midwest. The third and final panel explored investment drivers and opportunities for energy efficiency in sectors that are poised for growth in the near future. The panel included speakers from the Steel Founder’ Society of America, General Motors North America, The Michigan Economic Development Agency, and Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure.
Overall the summit was a great success, and detailed the economic development and employment opportunities associated with industrial energy efficiency improvements in the Midwest as well as highlighted energy efficiency potential and drivers of manufacturing growth