By Kurt Sheline 9/19/13
A recap of REFF-West's session on Innovation in the Energy Industry
The panel consisted of a phenomenal representation of the full foodchain of energy innovation, from university and federal labs to large and growing corporations. The speed of innovation in the industry has increased rapidly, but what else can be done? Is it possible to cut the pace to market of new energy technologies in half? The panel offered several anecdotes suggesting the feasibility of this goal.
By Jenna Goodward 09/18/2013
The Renewable Energy Finance Forum (REFF-West) kicked off its first day with a lively debate about whether the West really is exceptional when it comes to the outlook for renewables. The panel of experts weighing in included Terry Grant of Marathon Capital, Barney Schauble of Nephila Advisors LLC, Nancy Pfund of DBL Investors, J. Radford Small of Goldman Sachs, Rob Sternthal of Reznick, and Tracey A. LeBeau of the Western Area Power Administration. Renewable energy technologies, mature or maturing, are generally situated in three contexts: the policy landscape, the surrounding physical grid they serve, and the financial markets.
By Susan Lee 9/17/13
Tom Steyer, Founder and Board Chair of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute, business leader and investor, recently climbed Mount Tyndall – one of the highest peaks in California. This awesome feat is number eight of the fourteen peaks he plans to climb. In the energy space, Mr. Steyer is also tackling mounting challenges and left his investing career to focus on such issues full-time. As Mr. Steyer discussed in his keynote, energy challenges can be addressed and overcome through a multilateral approach with capitalism as the driving solution.
By Lesley Hunter 9/17/13
The western United States’ remarkable renewable energy resource availability, supportive policies, and well-developed supply chains have transformed western states into national leaders in renewable energy development. In 2012, the 13 western states attracted more than half of the country’s combined venture capital, private equity and asset finance investment in the renewable energy sector, and produced approximately 31% of their total energy generation from renewable energy sources – compared to roughly 12% nationally (sources: Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA)).
By Matt Lucas 9/16/13
“Washington can be a tough place”, said John MacWilliams, senior adviser to the Secretary of Energy, in his understated manner. “Luckily, we have a president who deeply cares about these issues [renewables and climate change], and he has appointed a Secretary of Energy who is uniquely qualified to address those issues.”
By Michael Brower 9/16/13
The Senate’s seesawing calendar this week highlights two priorities of significant national interest. As Syria takes a backseat – perhaps only temporarily – highly anticipated energy policy is finding the spotlight in the form of Senators Jeanne Shaheen and Rob Portman’s “Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act.” While action on Syria has embroiled the Congress in heated debate, the Shaheen-Portman bill is uniting members of both parties by using smart, common sense policy to create jobs, conserve energy and save billions for American consumers.