As energy initiatives continue to grow in the Hudson Valley, a need to bring the different groups together in a cohesive manner presents a difficult challenge.
"There are many initiatives to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy springing up throughout the Hudson Valley, but there is not yet much coordination," said Manna Jo Greene, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater environmental director.
In an effort to rectify this situation, several organizations – including Clearwater, Hudson Valley Regional Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 363, New York Public Interest Research Group and Sustainable Hudson Valley – will come together Thursday to sponsor a roundtable on "Bringing Sustainable Energy Infrastructure into the Hudson Valley" at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers training facility in Harriman.
"I think it's very timely," said Steve Densmore, Clearwater Communications Committee member, of the discussion. "There is a sense that there are these grassroot movements dispersed throughout the area that aren't communicating. There is a need to bring these movements together so there can be a greater presence."
Newburgh City Manager Jean McGrane will moderate the interactive roundtable discussion, which will feature a panel of speakers presenting the status of energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure in the region.
Geared toward municipal officials, community leaders, energy providers and any other individuals interested in energy issues, the roundtable will provide a forum on a variety of energy opportunities, including the possibilities of solar and wind power. Greene cited the Town of Greenbush's conformance to Energy Star standards in relation to future construction efforts and Woodstock's zero carbon initiative as two examples of promising energy initiatives.
"There are all these efforts that, if we could combine, we could combat global warming and create incredible economic possibilities," Greene said. "The more energy we create within our own boundaries, the more we can be independent."
Greene hopes this effort will foster the actual implementation of increased sustainable energy infrastructure in the Hudson Valley.
"I think it's a very good start and not a moment too soon for mitigating adverse effects on the environment and promoting energy efficiently," Greene said.