President Barack Obama recently used his weekly radio address to talk about opportunities to strengthen our national economy while reducing our carbon footprint. Clean energy is about more than reducing our environmental impact. It means jobs, economic revitalization and innovating for our future.

These priorities took center stage as members of a Maryland delegation signed an agreement to cooperate on offshore wind energy with the Government of Denmark earlier this month. Denmark is a recognized world leader in offshore wind energy innovation and deployment, and this agreement will help leverage their expertise as we implement Maryland’s Offshore Wind Energy Act. Additionally, the delegation of legislators, Maryland businesses, and agency heads, including Abigail Ross Hopper, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration, had the chance to engage with their Danish counterparts and develop a framework to partner for the next year and a half, sharing information and building business connections. During the visit, the delegation also toured some of the impressive infrastructure and manufacturing clusters supporting the Danish clean energy economy.

Building on those efforts, Maryland’s energy staff attended the European Wind Energy Association Offshore 2013 conference in Frankfurt, Germany last week. This widely attended bi-annual conference provided an excellent platform to showcase the progress we’ve made as a state, in an epicenter of global innovation. While there, MEA staff had the opportunity to meet with industry experts and obtain the critical technical and logistical knowledge to ensure that the Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act delivers on its promise for smart, clean energy investment.

As the 21st century green economy continues to evolve, we’re doing everything we can to grow the ranks of Maryland’s middle class by building strong connections with industry leaders both overseas and here at home. Maryland will come out on top by harnessing the potential of offshore wind, expanding opportunity for local businesses, and creating family-supporting jobs for Maryland families.

“And while our carbon emissions have been dropping, our economy has been growing. Our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs in the past 44 months. It proves that the old argument that we can’t strengthen the economy and be good stewards of our planet at the same time is a false choice. We can do both. And we have to do both.” – President Obama

MEA Director Abigail Hopper signs agreement with Martin Lidegaard of Denmark