Naked City

World Energy Week in Austin

Austin hits a milestone on its path to becoming the "clean energy capital of the world" as energy engineers from around the globe migrate to town for a series of events in what Mayor Will Wynn and Gov. Rick Perry have declared World Energy Week, Sept. 20-24.

The focal point of the week is the 27th World Energy Engineering Congress, a three-day extravaganza bringing together innovators of resource-saving energy technology and energy managers representing a broad array of industries, sponsored by Austin Energy, and co-sponsored by Texas State Energy Conservation Office and City Public Service of San Antonio. Energy pros hope to learn how to boost the efficiency of facility operations in school districts, hospitals, apartment complexes, and office buildings. Issues to be discussed include: the need for a balanced energy plan, the impact of energy prices on business, and emerging and current technologies.

Albert Thumann, PE, CEM, executive director of the Association of Energy Engineers, the organization presenting the event, said, "The opportunity to hold the WEEC in Austin with host Austin Energy could not have come at a better time or be in a better place." The conference means a lot to Austin too, not only as a showcase for Central Texas energy engineering and manufacturing businesses, but as a leap forward in making the city a green-energy development mecca.

Austin Energy's GreenChoice manager, Carol Harwell, said the spotlight cast on Austin by the WEEC will "attract new clean energy technology manufacturers to the area, helping to spur economic development. ... Austin is gaining a reputation as a great place for renewable energy technology."

This is the first time in the WEEC's 27-year history that it's been held outside Atlanta, Harwell noted, making the conference part of a trend in clean-energy events in Austin, including last year's major solar- and wind-industry conferences. Next week, alongside the WEEC, the U.S. Combined Heat & Power Association, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Texas Green Power Partners will also hold meetings.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

clean energy, renewable energy, World Energy Engineering Conference, WEEC, Austin Energy

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