Building, or Blowing, the Wind Business in Buffalo

Tom Kucharski, CEO of Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, an economic development agency in western New York, says growing the wind energy business is a "medium" priority for his organization.

So you can count entrepreneurs and advocates for a 21st development strategy in Buffalo among the frustrated lot who fear the greater Great Lakes region is moving much too slowly in the pursuit of a modern economy.

Clean energy is one of the fast growing sectors in the American marketplace. The industry is expected to generate an estimated 850,000 new jobs and a national market value of $160 million in the next decade, according to report scheduled to be released tomorrow in Muskegon, Michigan.

How could seizing it be anything but a top priority?

Countless cities, states, and nations now aim for a piece of the lucrative action. There's international competition in this game. And Buffalo, like a number of Great Lakes cities, is uniquely positioned for success with the capable - and idle - workforce, the brownfields awaiting new industry, and the transportation connections to build a mighty high tech green power business with a global reach.

But the "edge only counts if we get in the race," rightly observes Buffal News Columnist Donn Esmonde. "So far, we are barely at the starting line.".