Walking around the RETECH 2010 conference opening day on Wednesday in Washington, D.C. is a bit like Avatar: lots of special effects and everything is over the top. Dallas Cowboy-sized video screens flank speakers at the keynote and every kind of renewable energy company imaginable has a presence for the ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) sponsored trade show and conference.
Well, maybe not algae.
But, solar PV and CSP, wind, biomass, geothermal, hydro and advanced vehicles/batteries all have a strong presence.
RETECH starts off slowly on Day One, but really shifts into gear on Day Two with six different tracks presented simultaneously in two hour panel sessions: Strategic Issues; Policy and Finance; CEO/Industry Leaders by Technology; Federal Agencies; State & Local Policy and Programs; International Markets and Competition; and Research and Development.
The RETECH opening session consisted of some very broad RE themes outlined in the keynote and other addresses. Particularly interesting was Dan Reicher at Google (GOOG). Google has presented its vision of a renewable energy future called Clean Energy 2030 and worth reading.
Director, Energy and Climate Initiatives
Reicher recommended four energy policy mechanisms for the federal government to support nascent cleantech companies and help them survive the Valley of Death:
1. Increase Funding for R&D
· Called for $15b/year for next ten years
· Only 20% of global RE capacity is currently generated in the US compared to almost 100% IT
2. Increase commercial investment by creating a Federal Clean Energy Deployment Administration
3. Build a bigger and smarter electric grid
4. Implement national standards for RE and energy efficiency
Stay tuned for more updates from RETECH 2010 Day Two.
Disclosure: No positions in GOOG