Planning the Earth’s Energy Sourcing
A conversation with Michael Shellenberger, President, Breakthrough Institute; Kevin Surace, CEO, Appvance; Tom Arnold, CEO, Gridium.com; Ray Rothrock, Partner, Venrock; Stefano Poli, CEO, Electro Power Systems; and Michael Pfeffer, CEO, Ibis Networks; Hosted by Sheeraz Haji, CEO, Cleantech Group
Kevin Surace: Lessons in green building: The value we delivered to homeowners had to be at most a 3-year payback.
- Why did we ever think that we could put energy reinvention and climate change on the backs of VCs? It’s just not going to happen. Their ROI expectations are far too short-term.
- It’s really about getting the cost of sale down. If you do that, you’re going to cut energy use 30-40%
Tom Arnold: Focused on available data. Smart meter data is being underused. Gridium has used low price point and this data to grow very quickly.
- Software has to have a month payback.
- There’s been an accordion effect in the whole money chain.
- Utilities have a vested interest in managing building energies.
- Buildings have been so tough because they’re owned and managed and occupied disparately.
Michael Pfeffer: New plugin allows large enterprises to power down when they’re not in use.
Stefano Poli: Still working on driving cost down of fuel cells. Scale is helping, but need more R&D.
Ray Rothrock: Our investment is all about getting costs down and we’ve avoided anything that’s subsidized because govt can change its mind.
- Government should double or triple R&D
- We should keep immigrants here and let entrepreneurs loose
Michael Shellenberger: There are energy transitions going on all over the world. Governments and environmentalists can accelerate that process. Cheap clean energy will be the biggest driver, rather than reducing use.