2015 Clean Energy Innovation Forum: “The New Energy Innovation Economy”

December 15, 2015  • Roger Ballentine & Andy Karsner, Co-Chairs

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Key Points

  • 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.

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.