“Major reductions in carbon emissions will take a host of energy solutions,” said Tony Earley, chairman, CEO and president of PG&E Corporation and keynote speaker at the recent REFF-West event. “Optimizing those solutions will come through interconnection that only the grid can offer. And building a more dynamic grid will come through policies that support sustained investment in the infrastructure,”
In addition to an exploration of the maturation and challenges facing the renewable energy capital markets, this year’s REFF-West placed an emphasis on the significance of leading Fortune 500 companies procuring renewables to hedge against rising energy costs and to ensure reliable and resilient power while supporting sustainability objectives. With influential, cutting-edge companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Panasonic moving aggressively into low-cost renewables, through REC purchasing, power-purchase agreements, and even asset ownership, ACORE used this year’s REFF-West to convene top Fortune 500 businesses to discuss their strategies for clean energy in the corporate space.
“Corporate purchasing of renewable power has major potential for companies seeking flexible energy planning, as well as for the renewables industry itself,” said Jamie Evans Managing Director & Head of U.S Eco Solutions at Panasonic. “The multinational businesses seeking to invest in low carbon energy can meet their economic goals and sustainability goals through a variety of strategies. For the clean energy industry, the large balance sheets of these companies can continue to fund new projects and drive growth.”
The conference also addressed themes of innovation, with speakers from Tesla and venture capital groups, and highlighted opportunities in related energy technologies like demand response, energy storage, the “internet of things” and creative electric vehicle infrastructure and incentives.
“Cleanweb and the intersection of energy and information technology is a powerful force for ensuring the reliability of a modern grid, and the integration of renewable energy at high levels,” said Nicholas Eisenberger, Managing Partner at Pure Energy Partners and member of ACORE’s board of directors. “REFF-West has always showcased innovative opportunities to unite information technology with traditional energy applications, and this year is no exception.”
As part of this year’s conference, ACORE released its Renewable Energy in the 50 States: Western Region, providing a broad analysis of key developments shaping the renewable energy landscape in the thirteen Western states. This year’s update to the Western Region Report notes that in 2014, the western renewable energy sector attracted nearly half of the country’s combined venture capital, private equity, and asset finance investment and produced roughly one third of the region’s total electricity generation – compared to about 13% nationally. In fact, the report notes that half of the nation’s total renewable power capacity is located in these states, including 60% of all hydro, 70% of all solar, and 100% of all geothermal power.
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