With Competition Mounting, Pennsylvania Pumps $11M Into Energy Innovation

Well, you can't say Ed Rendell is a coward on the energy innovation issue. Yesterday the Pennsylvania governor announced his state would invest $11 million in two dozen projects designed to turn everything from sun rays to chicken shit into electricity.

He also warned that Pennsylvania must move much more aggressively if it intends to keep pace with other states and establish itself as a serious player in the "new energy economy." Investors this year are expected to pump $81 billion into the renewable energy market, Gov. Rendell said, but Pennsylvania is only able to support a measly 10 percent of the business ventures applying for assistance from the state economic development office.

That costs the Keystone State as much as $100 million in new investment annually, the way the Rendell Administration figures it, as entreprenuers look elsewhere for startup capital.

“We’re among the top destinations for cutting edge projects in areas like solar and wind energy technologies but other states and other nations are stepping up to compete with us,” Rendell said in a press release.

“California has made more than $3 billion available for solar development and Iowa is investing $1.3 billion in biofuels production. Even smaller and less populated states like Rhode Island and Wyoming have made $300 million and $400 million available for alternative energy development.”