FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 18, 2013

Contacts: Shelly Baron, 501-537-0190 or 
Steve Patterson, 501-537-0190 or

Ritter to focus on job growth and positive economic impact of Advanced Energy during keynote address 

Little Rock, AR – Bill Ritter, Jr., a strong advocate for achieving energy independence through increased reliance on natural gas, energy efficiency and renewable energy, will be the featured speaker when the Arkansas Advanced Energy Associations (AAEA) gathers on October 1 in North Little Rock for “emPOWERing Arkansas”, the group’s second annual meeting and policy conference.

First elected in 2006, and serving as Colorado’s 41st Governor (2007-2011), Ritter founded and now directs the Center for a New Energy Economy (CNEE) at Colorado State University.  He has demonstrated that the states are where viable solutions are being adopted to achieve energy independence, comply with federal air quality standards and create jobs. 

His address to AAEA members and guests on October 1 will come during the lunch program that begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock. 

During his four years as Governor of Colorado, Ritter signed 57 pieces of legislation related to clean energy, including tax credits that sparked a transformation in the state’s natural gas and renewable energy industries.  Along with wind, solar, biofuels, nuclear, energy efficiency measures, and other technologies, Ritter believes that natural gas development is a part of the transition to a clean energy economy for the 21st century.

“The AAEA advanced energy policy agenda is ambitious and ongoing, and Gov. Ritter’s work at the Center for the New Energy Economy, as well as his tenure as Governor, are important examples for our work here in Arkansas.” said Steve Patterson, AAEA Executive Director.  “Natural gas and renewable energy sources are abundant in Arkansas, and he can demonstrate how our state’s natural assets have the potential to provide many economic opportunities and create jobs.”   

“emPOWERing Arkansas” is the AAEA’s second annual meeting and policy conference and is presented this year by Viridian USA in partnership with the University of Arkansas College of Engineering. The conference begins with registration at 9:00 a.m. and continues with programs on public policy strategies for Arkansas; access to capital for advanced energy companies; economic impact of the state Guaranteed Energy Cost Savings Program and social media strategies to help advanced energy companies. 

The day is capped off with a Research & Innovation Expo Reception, beginning at 4:00 pm dedicated to exploring the many ways that advanced energy is ’emPOWERing Arkansas’. Much of Arkansas’s advanced energy economy has its roots in the research, innovation and training that is ongoing at the state’s universities and two-year colleges.  AAEA’s university and two-year college members will exhibit and present the latest advanced energy research and development that shows potential for business investment and growth, along with the innovative job training that keeps these investments here at home.  AAEA’s college/institution members are nationally-recognized leaders in sustainability and advanced energy, and they are preparing the next generation of advanced energy business leaders to build strength and longevity for the industry in Arkansas.  The Expo & Networking Reception is an opportunity for participants to relax, mingle and enjoy hors d’oeuvres and beverages while browsing the exhibits to learn more about these great innovations.

AAEA Members and Guests: For event information, registration, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit: 

Members of the media: Please contact Shelly Baron at (501) 537-0190 or for information on media credentials.

Arkansas Advanced Energy Association is a business group dedicated to growing Arkansas’s economy by expanding our energy workforce and manufacturing base through the increased development, manufacture, and utilization of advanced energy technologies. 

The Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation is the educational affiliate of the AAEA. The Foundation promotes greater public understanding of advanced energy in Arkansas through research, public education programs and economic and workforce development. The Foundation is dedicated to informing the energy policy debate with well-researched, fact-based data on the advanced energy economy in Arkansas and by providing a public forum where state leaders can address Arkansas’s energy challenges for the future.

Report Shows Global Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy
A new report released in January 2013 by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) shows that advanced energy was a $1.1 trillion global market in 2011, larger than pharmaceutical manufacturing worldwide. The first-ever analysis of the advanced energy sector also shows that the market in the U.S. represents a significant part of the nation’s economy, with $132 billion in revenue in 2011, and a 19 percent growth rate estimated for 2012, with U.S. revenue rising to $157 billion. Read the full report here:

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