Buffalo Niagara Enterprise Unveils Findings from Green Industry Study Performed by KWR International
Diversity, geography and manufacturing heritage all key to future success
Buffalo, New York - January 12, 2010 - Buffalo Niagara Enterprise (BNE), the region's eight county marketing, business and economic development organization, today presented the findings of a study they commissioned entitled "Buffalo Niagara - Where Industry Creates Energy", performed by KWR International and funded by National Grid. Having spent the better part of the last two years conducting research and developing marketing and business development strategies in renewable-energy, BNE commissioned the study to seek third party validation for what they believed was the region's promise in the growing industry, as well as additional detail to help further refine their strategic initiatives.
To access a copy of the study, please CLICK HERE or email the contact below
Presented at an "Economic Development Tools for a New Economy" forum, the research study, draws some very positive conclusions for the potential future of green industries in the region. While manufacturing opportunities in a number of renewable-energy sectors permeate the report, linkages and synergies among production, research & development, distribution services and a number of other BNE targeted industry clusters also offer great economic development potential for the region.
"The new green economy offers Buffalo Niagara unique job-growth opportunities as alternative-energy demand grows", said KWR President Keith W. Rabin who also served as lead analyst and project director for the BNE Study. "This potential stems from its ability to provide manufacturing capacity in almost all alternative-energy sectors as a result of a more diverse and balanced industrial base than competing regions across the North America", Rabin continued. BNE President & CEO Thomas A. Kucharski pointed to the very promising and exciting longer term implications of the study's findings.
"While we had believed for some time that we possessed regional assets that would make Buffalo Niagara competitive in attracting renewable investment opportunities, this study points to the possibility of an even bigger green industry picture for us", Kucharski said. "Contrary to the belief that manufacturing is dead in this country and region, the study shows that our existing manufacturing base, facilities, and skilled workforce can actually be the foundation for green -job growth. When you add in geographical advantages like our access to major population centers, our Great Lakes location, proximity to Canada, and the quality of our transportation infrastructure, we are amassing the tools that could allow the region to establish itself as a North American center for the commercialization of green and renewable-energy related products", Kucharski added.
To illustrate his point on the strength of diversity, the consultant referred to a portion of the study where Buffalo Niagara was compared to other locations known for their efforts and activity in renewable-energy. Ten different sectors of the renewable-energy industry were examined and in almost every other occasion, NAICS industry classification codes were highly concentrated with a small number accounting for the vast majority of revenues generated. This was true even in Dallas (where two codes in Waste Management accounted for 57.4% of revenues) and Los Angeles (where four codes in Energy Transmission and Storage accounted for 66.55% of revenues) even though one would think these larger markets would have greater diversity than Buffalo Niagara. In comparison, few codes in Buffalo Niagara's case exceeded 12% of revenues and only one in all 10 sectors examined (Electric Power Generation in Energy Transmission and Storage) reached 14.09%.
The study's executive summary emphasizes that manufacturing will play a vital role in the green economy as manufactured goods are required throughout the value chain of renewable-energy generation and the spin-off functions of transmission and storage, transportation, building materials and solid waste disposal. Large investments of public money in the green economy by the United States and other nations in an effort to generate economic stimulus makes the manufacturing job growth inevitable and therefore a significant opportunity for the region. While diversity in green economy sectors is a strong plus, the study also reinforced BNE's instincts that the greatest opportunities for manufacturing and job growth exist in solar and wind as these sectors are projected to experience the most rapid growth. Buffalo Niagara's rural areas, Great Lakes shoreline and off-shore facilities in Lake Erie have all been classified as significant wind-resource areas, offering the greatest opportunity to generate large scale alternative-energy to supply the grid. Likewise, the region's ability to provide high-grade silicon to the photovoltaic industry supports opportunities for growth in PV manufacturing and other related facilities. Other sectors shown as having potential in the study included hydrokinetic, geothermal, biomass and biofuels.
National Grid, a founding investor in BNE and a member of the group's Steering Committee, played a vital role in funding the research study.
"Through a wide variety of programs and initiatives, National Grid has shown a strong commitment to energy efficiency and economic development efforts in our service territories and we are very pleased to have been able to fund this study", said Susan Crossett, Vice President of Energy Solutions for the utility company. "I want to commend KWR International on the quality of the final product and I share Buffalo Niagara Enterprise's optimism for the future of green industries in the Buffalo Niagara region", Crossett added.
Like all studies, the questions now turn to how will this information be used and how will it benefit the BNE's renewable-energy business attraction efforts.
"We will continue to proactively roll out the study findings and recommendations to our economic development partners, our advocacy organizations and potential industry suppliers in the region to educate them about the opportunities that exist and so that they can collaborate with us in taking the appropriate steps to continue building a welcoming environment", said Kucharski. "Most importantly, we will aggressively market these study findings to the individual companies, site selectors, influencers and leaders that we have targeted in the renewable-energy industry. These findings and the compelling story they tell will be a vital part of the message we carry to industry and trade shows across North America and throughout the world", Kucharski said. "It's really a very interesting twist of fate that the manufacturing infrastructure and heritage from our halcyon days of the industrial revolution could now play such a prominent role in the emergence of the world's reindustrialization model of this new, clean and green economy", Kucharski concluded.
To access a copy of the study, please CLICK HERE or email the contact below
ABOUT Buffalo Niagara Enterprise
Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, a private, non-profit, marketing, business and economic development organization, is the point of contact for business attraction and investment in the eight counties of the Buffalo Niagara region. Working with local economic development groups, real estate & development professionals, governmental agencies, utilities and private sector business leaders, BNE assists businesses seeking to re-locate or expand in our region with access to the various incentives, financing, site selection and other services relevant to their project. For information on doing business in Buffalo Niagara, visit www.buffaloniagara.org.
ABOUT KWR International, Inc.
KWR International, Inc., is a consulting firm specializing in the delivery of research, communications and advisory services with a particular emphasis on investment, trade and business development, economic, policy and industry analysis, public/investor relations, cross border transactions, business strategy and market entry programs. Wide sectoral experience includes energy and alternative energy, natural resources, environment, technology, telecom, hard and soft goods, tourism, defense, real estate, autos, macroeconomic policy and investment, trade and export services. This includes engagements for a wide range of national and local government agencies, trade and industry associations, start-ups, turnarounds, venture/ technology-oriented companies and multinational corporations; as well as financial institutions, investment managers, financial intermediaries and legal, accounting and other professional service firms. For more information, please visit http://www.kwrintl.com.
KWR International, Inc.