State-House Hot Air Over Wind Power Grant?

6/26/07Follow @bbuderi

It made the front page of the Boston Globe and aired on the local NPR affiliate: Massachusetts won a $2-million grant to help outfit a hangar facility in Charlestown for testing wind turbine blades. In announcing the deal, Governor Deval Patrick was joined at the State House by no less a figure than U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman. A parade of energy officials expressed high hopes for what the grant portended.

I’m thinking, $2 million—so what? The country’s energy czar, who controls billions, flies up to Boston to gush over such a measly grant? The overkill seems indicative of a frenzy over everything green. I made a quick call to an energy expert I know, David Danielson, who founded the MIT Energy Club four years ago and is now technologist-in-residence at General Catalyst helping GC study the energy arena. Danielson called the grant a symbolic gesture, to be sure, but one that, combined with separate efforts now afoot, might provide the momentum to turn the U.S. around in alternative energy. “Two million is a drop in the bucket,” he says. “But if you got a lot of drops and the drops start precipitating, you can fill up the whole bucket.”

It’s an interesting forecast—what do you think?

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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