Energy Consortium - Background & Goals
Background of the ITC Energy Consortium:
Research printed in The Review of Regional Studies, Vol. 40, No 1, 2010 points out that in 2005, the Rocky Mountain States (Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming) average annual wage per job was about $4,000 less than the U.S. average. In 2009, Idaho’s average wage per job was $10,700 less. The research specifically points to the cause of this deterioration as a significant loss of jobs in the high paying technology sector. It’s clear the IT technology sector has been an economic mainstay for Idaho. This sector has matured and companies such as Micron, HP and Zilog have permanently shed thousands of jobs. Clearly we would benefit from replacing the lost technology-worker jobs with similar jobs and wages.
Naturally economic development is a key topic in virtually every state. Many regions of the country are looking to develop or attract high-growth industry segments. Within the state of Idaho, we have developed specific competencies that match well with certain growth sectors and not others. Our history with HP, Micron and their many spin-offs has established a strong electrical and mechanical engineering talent pool as well as a large base of light manufacturing talent. These companies have also been the driving force in the establishment of the excellent electrical and mechanical engineering programs in the State’s universities. Idaho is unique in having a large Federal energy research capacity in the form of INL and CAES. We also have a great heritage in energy services with organizations such as Power Engineers being head quartered here. Finally, we have progressive utilities anxious to engage in economic development.
The workforce, universities, research and other resources within the state are a direct match with the rapidly growing segment of solid-state energy production, efficiency and demand management devices. We also have the consulting expertise in the state to help organizations assimilate these new technologies. There are already a surprisingly large number of energy technology companies growing here and leveraging the talent pool. Recently, Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA decided to locate the company’s technical support operation in Idaho. Enphase Energy is the world’s leading provider of devices that allow solar-generated electricity to be placed back on the grid. They directly cited the workforce as a primary reason to build a key part of their business in ID.
Goals of the ITC Energy Consortium:
Mission – To help energy and technology companies in Idaho start, grow and thrive
Vision – ITC’s Energy and Technology Consortium is the catalyst accelerating growth of the technology and entrepreneurial ecosystems enabling Idaho’s energy and technology companies to become the state’s No. 1 revenue and jobs engine by 2030 – creating a lasting identity as one of the fastest growing state economies in the U.S.
- Advocacy – spearhead innovative policies that spur the growth and adoption of technology in Idaho
- Education & Information – Strengthen the state’s energy and technology research capabilities through the commercialization of intellectual property. Create a stronger talent pipeline through STEM focus.
- Alignment and Awareness – Build coalitions, connect stakeholders, and encourage collaboration by working to align state and private interests. Increase awareness of resources available and needed for funding, starting and running energy and technology companies. Provide a voice to recognize the success of energy and technology companies.
The ITC Energy Consortium is growing and evolving and will embrace new members and ideas. Over time our goals may evolve but inherently we will always be focused on helping expand opportunities for our members and for the State as a whole. You can learn more about Idaho's energy sector through the annual Idaho Energy Primer published by Idaho's Office of Energy Resources.
Companies Represented in the ITC's Energy & Tech Consortium: