If Northeast Ohio manufacturers acknowledge that the shaky economic climate has contributed to countless sleepless nights, then supply-chain manufacturers in the renewable energy industry must be turning into insomniacs. That's because a shaky economy is little compared to the political uncertainty in the renewables marketplace.
From a proposed repeal of a highly successful 2008 Ohio law that sets standards for energy efficiency and renewable energy, to repeated attempts to eliminate the federal production tax credit which provides financial support for the development of renewable energy facilities nationwide, the manufacturing community and its related supply chain continues on a hazardous "start-stop" course to keep up with changing legislation and reckless assaults by wayward politicians.
Ever mindful of the impact politics has on the region's manufacturing base, WIRE-Net has ramped up its efforts to act as a voice of the community.
Recently, WIRE-Net president John Colm wrote an op-ed piece published in the Toledo Blade defending Ohio solar manufacturers after the paper published an article that claimed "solar firms proved costly investments" and "tens of millions were wasted on the fledgling industry."
Colm's piece, titled "Solar Energy Steers Its Future By Reflecting On The Past" compares the industry to a burgeoning auto industry of the early 1900s…an industry that attracted scores of inventors, developers and manufacturers all vying for a piece of an emerging market. It's a rebuttal to those who claim the solar industry is a boondoggle.
Response to that opinion piece has included a reprint of Colm's article by Solar Power World, a national trade publication that reports on the solar industry. Click HERE to view the article.
Interestingly, Solar Power World included its own brief commentary alongside the piece, lauding Colm and WIRE-Net for standing up for manufacturers. Here's a snippet of of that commentary: