The 2015 Clean Energy Innovation Forum, “The New Energy Innovation Economy,” was co-chaired again this year by Roger Ballentine of Green Strategies and Andy Karsner of Manifest Energy. Topics discussed included the ongoing transformation of the energy user experience; distributed generation and disruption incumbent electricity business model; challenges in bridging the energy technology gap between development and adoption; and the impact of climate concerns on accelerating change.
- Technology, new entrants, changing consumer demands and financial innovation are all driving change in the clean energy sector; policy is both a reaction to and factor in these changes.
- The growing cost-effectiveness of distributed generation is challenging the legacy electricity sector, though the rate and direction of change vary across the country.
- The changing expectations of customers, enabled by technology and finance, are forcing the reassessment of incumbent business models and leading to a growing class of “insurgent” new participants in the energy sector.
- Climate action and clean energy innovation are not the same thing, but they are inextricably connected, and the clean energy revolution is showing increasing signs of becoming trans-ideological, beyond the confines of the climate debate.
- Achieving scale in the deployment and adoption of clean energy technology depends on the ability to integrate into existing systems and meeting the diverse needs of energy consumers.