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Gov's Green Jobs and Economy Task Force releases recommendations

Moving forward on his goal to support 100,000 green jobs by 2015, Gov. Martin O'Malley recently held Maryland's first Green Economy Forum at Montgomery Park in Baltimore City. The governor outlined an aggressive plan to create and retain green jobs, support clean and renewable energy, protect Maryland's communities and preserve the State's natural resources.

The plan is based on the findings of the Green Jobs & Industry Task Force, a group of public and private sector leaders including green business owners, industry stakeholders, workforce development experts and cabinet secretaries the Governor assembled in March to develop recommendations to capitalize on the emerging green economy.

As part of the Forum, the Gov. O'Malley also led a roundtable with small business owners, environmental advocates, green industry experts and others to discuss ways to move Maryland forward on clean and renewable energy, environmental remediation and sustainable development.

"Green jobs are growing nationally at a rate two and a half times faster than overall jobs and are not only key to our economic recovery today, but are the jobs that will fuel the economy of tomorrow," says Gov. O'Malley. "Our highly educated workforce, wealth of natural resources and progressive policies makes Maryland uniquely positioned to grow our green economy and create the kinds of jobs that will ensure a more sustainable future for all Marylanders."

"The recommendations presented today clearly demonstrate that Maryland is on the forefront of the emerging green economy," says Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson, who chaired the Task Force. "We look forward to working in partnership with employers, entrepreneurs and industry experts to implement relevant and meaningful strategies to help Maryland's green industries create jobs, employ more sustainable practices and preserve our communities."

"As an executive in the emerging green industry, I believe that these recommendations capture the input of many green employers in Maryland," said Kerinia Cusick, Green Jobs & Economy Task Force member and Director, Mid-Atlantic Government Affairs for Sun Edison. "The Task Force team members look forward to continuing our collaboration as these recommendations are implemented."

The Task Force report focused on six key recommendations:

  1. Promote energy and resource efficiency efforts;
  2. Develop and foster clean, local energy production and industrial capacity;
  3. Capitalize upon economic opportunities to restore and protect Maryland's natural resource;
  4. Promote sustainable development practices that create jobs, generate prosperity, and make Maryland more self-reliant;
  5. Increase access to capital for green businesses and projects; and
  6. Strengthen coordination and communication across State agencies, partners, and stakeholders to provide strategic vision for advancing a green economy.

Maryland is home to approximately 75,000 green-sector jobs, ranging from consulting and scientific services to construction and waste management. Since January, Maryland has created 38,000 jobs, a growth rate twice that of the rest of the nation. Maryland's unemployment rate remains 25 percent lower than the national average.

Source: State of Maryland
Writer: Walaika Haskins

Gov. O'Malley pegs $1M of stimulus money for electric car charging stations

Gov. O'Malley has designated $1 million of federal stimulus monies to help boost Maryland's Electric Vehicle Infrastructure. The investment will be used to build approximately 65 electric vehicle charging stations around the State to attract and support the coming electric vehicle industry. In addition, plans are in place for Maryland workers to retrofit the state's existing truck stop electric infrastructure, an improvement which is expected to displace approximately 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually by allowing trucks to use electric power instead of idling at truck stops.

"Electric vehicles offer the potential to displace significant amounts of gasoline, nearly 20 percent of which is currently imported from the Persian Gulf," says Gov. O'Malley. "Investing in electric vehicle technologies will create jobs for our workers, green opportunities for our businesses, and a Smart, Green and Growing Maryland."

This funding comes on the heels of the recently enacted Electric Vehicle Tax Credit bill and Electric Vehicle HOV bill, passed into law during the last legislative session. The two initiatives are designed to to better equip Maryland to meet the demand for publically accessible charging stations as car manufacturers release more and more electric car models for purchase by the public.

"Maryland is emerging as a national leader in advancing electric transportation, which promotes energy independence, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and saves consumers' money," remarked Maryland Energy Administration Director Malcolm Woolf. "With the average Marylander driving less than 40 miles per day, electric vehicles will offer meaningful solutions to saving money and protecting our environment." 

The awards include: 

1) ShorePower: $498,000 for truck stop electrification (TSE) units at Baltimore, Elkton, and Jessup, totaling 249 TSE installations;

2) Baltimore City: $134,500 for the installation of 9 to 16 electric vehicle re-charging stations in various parking garages throughout Baltimore City. Project partners include Baltimore City Department of General Services, Baltimore City Parking Authority and BGE;

3) Baltimore Electric Vehicle Initiative (BEVI): $367,500 for the installation of 55 electric vehicle re-charging stations around the state and the I95 corridor, including Harford, Cecil, Baltimore City, Baltimore, Montgomery, Anne Arundel, Charles, Frederick and Prince George's counties.

Source: Maryland Energy Administration
Writer: Walaika Haskins

MD Clean Energy Ctr Launches New Incubator Network

There's a new incubator network in town. The Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator Network will offer support to early stage companies working with clean energy technologies and advance green job creation in Maryland.

The production of a partnership between Maryland Clean Energy Center and the bwtech@UMBC the new site, the Maryland Clean Energy Technology Incubator@bwtech (CETI), is the first in a planned statewide network of clean energy incubators designed to strengthen Maryland's "Smart, Green and Growing" energy economy.

"bwtech@UMBC is our first site because we were so impressed with their management and track record there," says Katherine Magruder, executive director of Maryland Clean Energy Center.

""The Maryland Clean Energy Center is striving to partner with energy experts throughout the state in order to fulfill its mission of growing Maryland's clean energy economy through related economic development and job creation. Because bwtech@UMBC has a proven track record of success our Board elected to work with their team to establish our first Clean Energy Incubator Network site at UMB," she adds.

The goal is to draw from the depth and variety of the research presence in the state, and use the incubator network to move discoveries from the bench to the bank in the commercialization pipeline, according to Magruder.

"The program seeks to provide affordable space as well as assistance with business plans, marketing, and management of intellectual property for start-up companies that are focused on a clean or renewable energy product, service or technology," she says.

CETI will provide services specifically tailored to the needs of companies working with solar power, wind power, geothermal, hydro-power, biofuels as well as energy management and storage technologies. A part-time Entrepreneur-in-Residence and an advisory board of experienced researchers and executives in the clean energy sector will also provide tenant companies with assistance.

CETI will occupy about 18,000 square feet of office and wet lab space in the Biotechnology Building of bwtech@UMBC's Incubator and Accelerator, located on the south campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Writer: Walaika Hasins
Source: Katherine Magruder, Maryland Clean Energy Center

Swedish clean tech company opening U.S. headquarters in MD will hire up to 23

Swedish bioenergy company, Swebo Bioenergy International, has selected Maryland as the location for its U.S. headquarters. The clean technology company, which develops, produces and sells climate neutral bioenergy systems, plans to open its new offices in Annapolis this fall.

Swebo will initially hire 3 employees, but expects to bring on an additional 15 to 20 employees as the company gears up to its begin manufacturing operation in the U.S.

Gov. Martin O'Malley met with Swebo during his economic development mission to Sweden last June. Company representatives came to Maryland, touring several locations throughout the state, including Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore before settling on Annapolis.

"I am pleased that our economic development mission to Sweden produced such significant and swift results," says Governor O'Malley. "Swebo International will be a great addition to the business community in Maryland, which, because of Maryland's leadership in the use of smart, green technologies, is quickly becoming a very attractive location for alternative energy companies.

Based in northern Sweden, Swebo specializes in manufacturing products that handle the efficient combustion of waste fuels.

"We are happy with what we have seen in Maryland and our options to establish a U.S. headquarters, followed by manufacturing operations," says Swebo Bioenergy CEO Mattias Lindren. "We looked at other states to establish our U.S. operations, but decided to locate in Maryland because of the support we received from Governor O'Malley."

Writer: Walaika Haskins

Source: DBED

Martek teams with BP on biofuels

Columbia-based Martek Biosciences signed a joint development deal with BP to work on the production of microbial oils for biofuels applications. The respective partners bring a broad technology platform and operational capabilities to advance the development of a step-change technology to convert sugars into biodiesel.

Under the multi-year partnership, Martek and BP will collaborate to establish working prototypes for cost effective microbial biodiesel production through fermentation. Researched for more than 20 years, the challenge will be to adapt the technology to the needs of the biofuels market with regard to product profile and economics.

"Martek is pleased to partner with BP's Alternative Energy team, to combine our unique algae-based technologies and intellectual property for the creation of sustainable and affordable technology for microbial biofuel production," says Steve Dubin, Martek CEO.

BP will contribute up to $10 million for this initial phase of its collaboration with Martek, utilizing the company's expertise in microbial oil production and BP's production and commercialization experience in biofuels as the jumping off point for the joint project.

Martek will perform the biotechnology research and development related to the initial phase of the project, while BP will offer its integration within the biofuels value chain.

Biodiesel produced from sustainable feedstocks via the fermentation of sugars will offer the potential to deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions of up to 80 percent to 90 percent when compared to traditional fossil fuel.

Writer: Walaika Haskins
Source: Steve Dubin, Martek
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