Building Community Around Clean Energy

About the Author

CED Program Interns & Students

Aaron Nousaine is a UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning. He is currently working with the Land-of-Sky Regional Council in Asheville through the Carolina Economic Revitalization Corps (CERC).

On October 8th the Land-of-Sky Regional Council, Advantage Green, and the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium will be hosting the first annual Clean Energy Now conference at the Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  The event is the latest outcome of a project called Building the Clean Energy Economy in Western North Carolina (see previous posts for details) that has brought together an unprecedented group of industry leaders, government officials, community organizations, and community members.

The purpose of the event is to begin the dialogue regarding how clean energy can facilitate economic development and restructuring in the region, as well as to provide greater exposure for clean energy businesses.  Given the community’s recent experience with energy and gas shortages the events sponsors are hoping that through development of this industry, the region may be able to attain not only greater energy security, but also sustainability and economic growth.

The one-day event will be held from 9:00 am to 4:15 pm with keynote speaker Larry Shirley, Former Director of the NC State Energy Office and current Director of the Green Economy at the NC Department of Commerce.  Sessions will cover a variety of topics spanning the focus areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean vehicle technologies.  In addition to likely networking opportunities, some interesting examples of conference break out sessions include:

  • Efficiency, a Path to Enhanced Competitiveness – Tarry Albrecht, WRP
  • Economics of Solar – Brownie Newman, FLS Energy
  • 100% Renewables-Powered Manufacturing – Steve Linton, Deltec
  • Building a Locally Sourced BioEnergy Park – David Waechter, Caldwell Green
  • New Developments in Combined Heat and Power – Gleen Mauney NC CHP

For additional detail regarding the ongoing clean energy economy project, please refer to

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