Monday, July 27, 2009

Clean Tech Economic Geography

For my Steel Valley Diaspora project, I've spent a lot of time following the federal money to places such as Warren, Ohio. More recent news has me thinking about the Cleveburgh Corridor more in terms of clean tech than biotech. In another part of the Rust Belt, similar inroads are being made:

The goal of Mr. Peters, 51, and his co-workers at International Battery [in Allentown, PA], a high-tech start-up, is industrial revolution. Racing against other companies around the globe, they are on the front lines of an effort to build smaller, lighter, more powerful batteries that could help transform the American energy economy by replacing gasoline in cars and making windmills and solar cells easier to integrate into the power grid.

This summer the Obama administration plans to announce how it will distribute some $2 billion in stimulus grants to companies that make such advanced batteries for hybrid or all-electric vehicles and related components. International Battery is vying for a modest chunk of it.
The United States could be investing a lot of cash into Allentown, which makes the Lehigh Valley a region to watch as the country begins to claw out of the Great Recession. I'm trying to imagine how the economic landscape will change and the story about International Battery is a good clue.

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