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Member Perspective: Ian Wright

Posted Friday, December 1st, 2017

Member Submitted, Featured Member, Energy

Guest Commentator: Ian Wright, Principal, Energy & Resources CMO, Deloitte Consulting LLP @DeloitteUS

What economic trends or issues will create opportunities for our region’s energy industry this year?

Greater Philadelphia’s proximity to an abundant supply of natural gas provides distinct advantages for the region. While many businesses, households and government agencies have focused on the benefits of an abundant, inexpensive local source of energy and hydrocarbons for other uses, there are additional economic and environmental benefits to the region that are often overlooked. It is my personal belief that these benefits far outweigh those more often analyzed and quantified, some of which include:

  • As the manufacturing sector shifts more to automated and additive manufacturing methods the need for abundant, inexpensive energy is becoming a critical advantage in the location of new facilities. When coupled with proximity to major markets this gives locations such as Greater Philadelphia a critical advantage in attracting the next generation of manufacturing plants
  • The shift from coal to gas and renewables for power generation will have an environmental impact both globally and locally, with reductions in greenhouse gases and in more localized particulate, black carbon and other pollutants. This will become ever more important as the trend towards CNG/LNG and electric vehicles continues
  • The continued and projected low cost of natural gas, combined with abundant local supply, provide the stability and predictability for power generation and other industrial users to take advantage of. Local industry leaders such as PGW and UGI provide the expertise to help businesses maximize their use of this asset, making the region a safe bet for investment and, in turn, job creation.
  • Establishing an energy based economy within the region, coupled with our strong academic institutions, will generate a culture of energy innovation and thought leadership. This will build upon our region’s growing reputation as a technology center and allow us to develop a broad STEM based economy. The associated jobs and economic activity will ensure Philadelphia’s place as a top twenty global city well into the next century

In short we have an opportunity to transform our local economy, improve the environment and build a future for our region that few others can rival. It is an exciting time to be a part of the Philadelphia community.

Ian Wright is a member of the Chamber’s Greater Philadelphia Energy Action Team (GPEAT)a consortium of leaders working together to establish a natural gas hub in southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey, and northern Delaware.

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