The Tennessee Renewable Energy and Economic Development Council has worked quietly for the last 4 years to create a fast-track to the future.
But many don't realize the urgency to move on to renewables.
UTC hosts a conference Friday that gives us a glimpse of what's to come.
It's not just solar energy, or wind energy. The nation's future energy needs will depend on those things plus other innovations like municipal waste conversion to synthetic fuels, and using compressed natural gas for fleets.
Planning for the future can be unwieldy.
That's one reason for conferences like the one at UTC today.
It brought together some of the best minds and companies that are already taking positive steps.
WILLIAM S. OWEN, ASSET & EQUITY CORP. " The technology is relatively mature technology...we just need to use it more to reduce our reliance on foreign oil and on foreign energy supplies and increase our renewable energy use."
Among the speakers was Lawrence Quinn, CEO at Alstom, and David Gustashaw of Volkswagen.
The Enterprise South plant is installing a solar farm.
But UTC also has begun initiatives in renewable Energy and what's called Zero Energy Buildings in the mechanical engineering department.
WARREN P. NEVAD, U-T CONSULTANT "UTC is a founding member of TREE-DC, we have 12 colleges and universities that are members, and they graciously hosted this forum."
Engineering professor Prakash Dhamshala says the university is already using solar power in some areas, and even has another technology.
DR. PRAKASH DHAMSHALA, UTC ENGINEERING "..but they can also produce an additional 70% of incoming solar energy to heat energy..hot water."
WILLIAM S. OWEN "Here in Tennessee we are encouraging economic development by encouraging people to use Tennessee built--Tennessee-based energy sources."
TREEDC was formed by former U-T President Dr. Joe Johnson and four mayors in 2008.