Tools & Resources

Buffalo Niagara: Where Industry Creates Energy

Screenshot of the first page of Buffalo Niagara: Where Industry Creates EnergyDownload PDF or View Online

Regional

Buffalo Niagara: Where Industry Creates Energy (2009) is a plan prepared by KWR International Inc., commissioned by the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and funded by National Grid. The report looks at the green economy and its location specific application in the Buffalo Niagara region. By leveraging the assets of the region, which include: industrial capacity, proximity to Canada and Northeast corridor, Great Lakes location, transportation infrastructure and capacity, cost structure, academic excellence, labor force, and manufacturing heritage, Buffalo Niagara is poised for business-creating green jobs in the renewable-energy industry. The plan identifies five traditional green economy energy sectors:

  • Solar
  • Wing
  • Geothermal
  • Hydropower
  • Biomass

The renewable-energy industry also has other job-producing sectors not directly related to energy production. These include energy transmission and storage, green buildings, transportation, and solid waste management. The consultants’ four major recommendations to making Buffalo Niagara a hub for green technology, job training, and a dedication to green technologies and practices include:

  • Formation of a regionally based “Green Team” to facilitate the region’s participation in the new green economy. They will provide leadership and foster cooperation and commitment among constituencies for the development of a consensus, guidelines and a green sustainability plan.
  • Buffalo Niagara should position itself for a leadership role in the new green economy by developing the “soft” infrastructure that will complement the manufacturing infrastructure already in place.
  • Buffalo Niagara should encourage its institutions, organizations, and businesses to actively participate in the global dialogue on alternative energy production to establish a leadership role in green manufacturing processes and green jobs
  • Buffalo Niagara should develop an integrated green initiative for the regional coordination of planning and policy development, organization capabilities and program management.

The plan points out that Buffalo Niagara’s strength in the renewable energy sector does not come from a focus on any one specific area, but rather from a diverse, balanced industrial base that provides manufacturing capacity in almost all alternative-energy sectors. By positioning Buffalo Niagara as a reindustrialization model for the new green economy, the region has the potential to capture the entire spectrum of job-creating activites such as R&D, commercialization, production, service, and maintenance.