Weekly REDEW: “Home of the Algaepreneur”

May 10, 2011

It’s been a way long time since I posted a Weekly REDEW – our “Random Economic Development Email of the Week” feature. So, to celebrate its long anticipated return, here’s a double shot: two random emails that I received today, both about events that discuss our use of energy and/or dealing with the consequences thereof. First, there’s “JOIN US – Fundamentals of Carbon Capture and Storage – June 14th in Richland, WA!” Second in number but not in importance is “OriginOil To Discuss Commercial Successes at National Algae Association Conference.”

Is it significant that I’m receiving all of these emails about energy events, or purely coincidence? What are the implications for Washington’s clean energy economic development? And what stream of consciousness ramblings will it inspire? It’s all here in the Weekly REDEW!

Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Labelling Me!

March 16, 2010

No, this is not a post about someone who keeps using one of those old school label makers to affix label stickers to me. It’s additional musing on yesterday’s super-wonky post in which I mentioned that industry cluster labels can get in the way of understanding how core goods and services in the economy can be used cross-sector. The example I used was aerospace machine shops being used to make wind turbine replacement parts: how would we know that we’re a region that has the capacity to be the center of wind turbine replacement part manufacturing if we didn’t look at a mix of occupational and cluster data? Read the rest of this entry »

Manufacturing in the Central Puget Sound

January 12, 2010

Last week, the Obama Administration announced another big expenditure from the Recovery Act – $2.3 billion in clean technology manufacturing tax credits to not only create jobs but actually spur investment in mass producing clean tech products. How much of that manufacturing will be done here? $0.00.

In fact, the only Washington company that got any money was our good friends at Ramgen, but it was to produce their exciting new carbon capture technology in upstate New York. When you see that, it recalls the conventional wisdom you always hear about our business climate being bad for manufacturing. But is that true? Read the rest of this entry »

Mystery Solved

December 10, 2009

Yesterday, I wondered aloud about why a Texas energy project funded by the Department of Energy through the Recovery Act was listed as being based in Bainbridge Island, WA. As loyal commenter “Frank” pointed out, it’s because they are indeed based in Bainbridge Island, WA, right there on good ol’ Winslow Way. Of course, the Seattle Times had already picked that up, but what am I supposed to do…read the news?

Anyway, it’s $350 million over 8 years, which is a lot of Bainbridge Island ferry passes, if you know what I mean. But again, what it does is add another notch to the central Puget Sound’s belt of carbon capture leadership. We should get all the related local folks together and see what sparks.

Weirdest Typo Ever?

December 9, 2009

So, as your humble Recovery Act analyst, I scour the departmental websites for updates on funding announcements and new grant opportunities. And I’m always overjoyed to see one of our region’s jurisdictions mentioned as an awardee…until now. Read the rest of this entry »

Big Ideas of 2009

December 4, 2009

It’s getting to be that time of year when people start doing annual recaps; this year, folks get to have even more fun with decade recaps as well. My very favorite of these – the New York Times Magazines’ Year in Ideas issues – is going to come out soon, and I can hardly contain my glee. We here at the Prosperity Blog have also had a good year of ideas, generating all sorts of practical proposals for improving our region’s business climate and competitiveness. But, of course, we have also had lots of impractical, sky’s-the-limit ideas that we hope someone is going to take and run with and make all our dreams come true. So, for all you good-idea-awaiting folks out there, here’s a summary of some of our “Big Ideas of 2009”, presented in Top Ten format: Read the rest of this entry »

Here Comes Carbon Capture (and Mole People?)

September 22, 2009

Here’s the thing about carbon capture, which is about to go live in West Virginia. I’m slightly concerned that the mole people who live deep underground are going to get pissed off, and come to the surface world to do battle with us. Either that, or some other unintended consequences, like polluted drinking water or earthquakes:

Asked whether the injections of carbon dioxide could increase the frequency or magnitude of the small earthquakes that are common in the area, an E.P.A. official said it seemed unlikely.

Ah, “unlikely.”  Everyone’s favorite palliative.  Read the rest of this entry »