By Lydia Ball
Executive Director, Clean Energy Project
‘Twas the night before the Summit
and all across the land
clean energy visionaries flocked to Las Vegas
with bright ideas for the future on hand…
Yesterday marked the sixth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, and while the previous five summits have served as a crucial springboard for clean energy discussions, we’re all still working hard in the Silver State to push for more growth in this industry. Inside the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, clean energy leaders, visionaries, politicians, thinkers, dreamers and doers came together to discuss the future of renewable energy. With the theme “Energizing Tomorrow,” there’s no better place than this annual clean energy summit to bring bright ideas for the future to the proverbial table.
Since its inception in 2008, this summit has served as a place for our nation’s leaders to discuss the importance of renewable energy, how we can create a clean future for everyone and the ways we can stay competitive in the estimated $2 trillion global clean energy market. Through dynamic keynote speeches, exhibitor hall booths and riveting live panels, the conversations center around current, trending, and timely topics and force us to ask ourselves, “What can I do to help?”
This year, the President’s newly appointed Cabinet members Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as featured speakers, bringing an important policy perspective to the event. They have the duty of implementing the President’s new Climate Action Plan and took the time to travel to Las Vegas and tell us how they see the future of energy in our country.
In addition to the featured speakers, the panel topics this year ranged from energy policy to climate change and there’s a slew of impressive speakers waiting to dig in to the conversations.
Former Senators who have helped get us where we are had a candid discussion on gridlock and how to move energy policy in the current political climate. Former Governors from Maryland, Colorado and California joined forces to brainstorm how states could create a good business environment for investments in renewable energy and its infrastructure. Visionaries from Bloomberg and Apple discussed the ways to transform innovative clean energy ideas into commercially available technologies. Business leaders from energy corporations highlighted ways to improve regional collaboration in the electricity market. And, finally, a real-life rocket scientist joined the conversation on how to make our communities more resilient to extreme weather.
In terms of “going green,” Nevada has made incredible strides since 2008 and the first National Clean Energy Summit and we were happy to see NCES 6.0 bring many important ideas to the forefront for the coming year.