I’m looking forward to this week’s National Clean Energy Summit 7.0 in Las Vegas. The Summit is the vision of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who uses the annual gathering to bring together the thought leaders, policymakers, and business people who are making clean energy a mainstream reality. It’s a great opportunity to gauge the mood in DC, hear about progress in the west on clean energy issues, and set the vision for the year ahead.
This year there are three big reasons to be there (four if you count Las Vegas!): Majority Leader Reid of course, John Podesta, now counselor to President Obama on climate change, and Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is giving the afternoon keynote. I expect we’ll get some insight into how the discussion on clean energy is going in DC and perhaps we’ll get a glimpse of how it may play in the 2016 election.
Perhaps the most interesting item on the agenda will be Amory Lovins moderating a discussion with Paul Caudill of NV Energy and Patti Wagner of Sempra. I credit one of Amory’s early books, Small is Profitable, as an inspiration for why I made a career transition from high tech to solar. Amory is often seen as a radical advocate for change in the electric power industry. Seeing him on stage with two utility CEOs would have been almost impossible to imagine a few years ago—perhaps it’s a reflection of the intense pressures that are causing utilities to embrace change as a means of staying relevant in our energy future.
One way or the other, it’s going to be an interesting and fun event. And this is one event where you really hope that what happens—and what is said—in Las Vegas doesn't stay there. Instead I hope it gets out to help shape what’s going on in the rest of the country!