By Emily Beck
The United States and China might be unlikely bedfellows when it comes to climate change, but breaking down those geopolitical boundaries is what AREDAY (American Renewable Energy Day) is all about. This June 19–24, leaders in renewable energy from around the world will converge in Aspen/Snowmass for the 13th annual event, with general admission passes still available. The buzz this year surrounds a person some have called the world’s most genius solar leader, Huang Ming, CEO of China’s Himin Solar.
With 623 patents to his name and more global awards than you can count on both hands, Ming is responsible for the development of China’s Solar Valley, the world’s largest urban renewable energy zone. Encompassing over 3,000,000 square meters and valued at $9 billion, Solar Valley has multiple renewable energy manufacturing and R&D centers, the world’s first all-solar-powered hotel, and Sun-Moon Mansion, the globe’s largest all-solar-powered building. Under Ming’s leadership, Himin Solar boasts an annual production capacity of 3 million water heaters, 20 million evacuated tubes, and 500 MW of photovoltaic products.
Generating dialogue between two of the world’s superpowers is one of the focuses of this year’s summit. With a theme of From Paris to The Polls: Implementing Low Carbon Economies, the Summit will facilitate the conversation regarding the necessary action for China and the US to take the lead. “The US and China together represent about half the CO2 production in the world and the two countries comprise about half the world’s economy,” Chip Comins, AREDAY founder, says. “It’s pretty important that the US and China get together on this in terms of a solution.” Therefore, creating a “Green Bridge” with China is smart business for the US and the world.
Comins founded AREDAY in 2004 as a one-day expo, which has since grown into a 5-day event, bringing together over 150 speakers and top leaders in their field to create cross-sector dialogue, collaborations, commitments, and investments to accelerate climate solutions.
Noteworthy speakers at this year’s event include Amory Lovins, father of energy efficiency and founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute; David Suzuki, Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, an award-winning scientist, environmentalist, and broadcaster; and President Olafur Grimmson, President of Iceland, who unexpectedly announced on April 18 that he will be running for his 6th Presidential term. Known for his staunch environmental advocacy, Grimmson is the first sitting President to attend AREDAY.
AREDAY may be the only renewable energy summit that places emphasis on the arts to bridge renewables to popular culture, presenting an all-day IMPACT FILM festival, featuring 8 of the most impactful environmental and thought-provoking films of the year, including Oscar-winner Louie Psihoyos’ “Racing Extinction.” The summit also culminates with an on-mountain blues performance by Grammy-award-winning Taj Mahal.
About the Author: Emily Beck got into the clean energy industry by complete accident. She now shares her deep passion for all things energy efficiency and sustainability in her column “I Spy Energy”. When she’s not speaking or writing about energy, Emily can be found hiking back-country trails with her bloodhound Rufus. Emily can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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