For years we’ve been hearing of the “new energy economy,” a vision of a diversified and cooperative energy industry amalgamation promising cleaner air, lower energy bills, and more green jobs. The recent release of
Energy Economy Map
by Ben Franklin Technology Partners’
statewide network is evidence that it's actually happening.
Using open-source, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), the map exhibits over 2,000 Pennsylvania energy companies, research programs, and related resources, largely concentrated in Greater Philadelphia.
“The intent of the map is to drive economic development, collaborative opportunities and partnership across the state," says Jim Gambino, Vice President of Technology Commercialization at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “It gives companies and universities an opportunity to present their projects.”
According to Gambino, sustainable building design and materials, clean energy storage, and smart grid technology are areas of continued market growth. Some of the map’s projects have intriguing titles, including Drexel University’s Human-electric Hybrid for Urban Commuting and Temple’s Multiple Stream Waste-Derived Energy Production.
The Energy Economy Map was piloted at the Navy Yard
by BFTP-Southeastern Pennsylvania and funded by the state's Department of Community and Economic Development
and tghe Governor’s office.
It’s not the typical stagnant, end-of-the-year-let’s-evaluate-how-we’re-doing report. The map, created in partnership with Philadelphia-based Azavea
, evolves as users update entries on their energy work.
“It’s really up to the registrant to enter the kind of information they see as important,” Gambino says. “We’re really looking for the users to provide the additions to improve the map.”
Eventually, BFTP-SEP expects the dynamic resource will attract more capital to the region.
“Early on we had determined in our analysis that we had significant energy assets here in southeastern Pennsylvania,” Gambino says. “[Outside companies and investors] will get a sense of the relative strength and vibrancy of both traditional and alternative energy communities in Pennsylvania.”
Jim Gambino, David Cohen, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania