There are a lot of brilliant minds in the energy business, and SmartPlanet has been there to capture what thought leaders have to say about the cleantech industry — from nuclear power and clean coal to solar panels and wind turbines.
Here’s a roundup of five recent cleantech talks you need to watch…now:
Who: Khosla venture capitalist Jim Kim
Where: Nordic Green conference in Menlo Park, Calif.
Highlight: “The really transformative technologies are coming out of the universities.”
Kim discusses why the most significant clean tech R&D is occurring at the university level instead of at large corporations. He also talks about the best growth opportunities, includes areas like pollution control, lighting, and wind energy.
Who: Bryan Walsh, Time magazine environmental columnist
Where: Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, Calif.
Highlight: “The issue of climate is no longer a diplomatic backwater. You can get pretty much 60 percent of the world’s emissions together with about five signatures.”
Walsh asks asks Dickon Pinner, a partner with McKinsey and Marc Stuart and founder of Ecosecurities, whether the climate conference in Copenhagen produced any meaningful policy or regulations.
Who: Eric Wesoff of Greentech Media
Where: Venture Summit in Palo Alto, Calif.
Highlight: “Truly disruptive means you need to get an overall system working to a scale that is meaningful.”
Wesoff moderates a panel of venture capitalists who share their views on nuclear as a clean energy alternative to both oil and coal. The panel includes: Jennifer Fonstad, managing director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson; Marianne Wu, partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures; Ray Lane, managing partner, KPCB; and Michael Danaher, partner, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.
Who: Canaccord Adams managing director Russ Landon
Where: AlwaysOn GoingGreen Conference in Sausalito, Calif.
Highlight: “The customer is not going to react to metering data and make massive changes.”
A panel of executives discuss variable pricing inside the home and whether consumers will accept smart metering. The panel includes Adrian Tuck, CEO of Tendril Networks; Cree Edwards, CEO of Emeter; Frank Ramirez, CEO of Ice Energy; and Joaquin Silva, CEO of On-Ramp Wireless.
Who: Scott Stephens, Photovoltaic Specialist for the U.S. Department of Energy
Where: Intersolar Conference in San Francisco, Calif.
Highlight: “There is room for disruptive process innovations.”
Stephens explains why he’s optimistic about the future and says he expects the market to stabilize and manufacturing to begin to consolidate. He says the DOE is searching for solar technology that improves on efficiency, scalability and durability.
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