Hurricanes Spur Florida's Drive for Sustainable Solutions
By EV World
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In late summer and early fall of 2004, Florida was hit by a quartet of hurricanes named Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne, which cost the state an estimated $50 billion in damage.
Right in the middle of the unprecedented series of storms, The Electric Drive Transportation Association held its annual conference in Orlando, itself the crossing point for three of the storms. Ironically, part of the opening plenary session was set aside to honor the state for its on-going committment to advanced electric-drive technology development and deployment. The designated to accept the association's E-Visionary award was the state's Deputy Secretary for Regulatory and Energy Programs, Alan Bedwell, probably one of the busiest officials in the state at the time.
In his opening remarks, Bedwell noted that he has served three governors during his career and according to him, Florida Governor Jeb Bush often has a better grasp of the importance of advanced energy technologies than he does. He added that the governor is very concerned about America's dependence on imported energy, a lesson brought home by the hurricanes, which prevented oil tankers from delivering fuel to the state.
In his acceptance speech, Bedwell discusses what's being done in Florida to encourage greater energy efficiency and the adoption of newer, cleaner technologies from solar energy to fuel cells. Subscribers can listen to his 23-minute address either by using the Flash-based MP3 player at the right or by downloading the file to your hard drive and replaying it on your favorite MP3 device.
EV World wishes to thank the EDTA for granting us permission to record and webcast the presentations from the 2004 conference.