Announcing Energy Innovation 2013

Clean Energy: Ready for Prime Time?

Clean energy is at a crossroads. Thanks to public investments in the United States, Germany, China, and elsewhere, solar, wind, and battery technologies have improved significantly and become cheaper over the last five years. Yet renewables are still not as cheap as fossil fuels. Moreover, many of these investments, including wind's crucial production tax credit, are at risk of expiration or have already lapsed. Meanwhile, innovations in the production of natural gas are displacing coal, generating billions of dollars in consumer energy savings, and becoming the energy leader that few foresaw.

What then is the future of clean energy? Congress remains deeply divided over renewables, but President Obama has defended his clean tech investments and says energy innovation remains a high priority. Senate Energy Committee Chairs Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) have expressed optimism that they can reach bipartisan agreement on new energy legislation. And natural gas and nuclear energy — two long-standing clean energy outliers — have received renewed attention due to possible inclusion in a clean energy standard. Never before has a clear-eyed assessment of emergent clean energy technologies been more important.

The Breakthrough Institute and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation are excited to invite you to join us for Energy Innovation 2013, our third annual conference taking place the morning of January 29, 2013, at the JW Marriott down the street from the White House.

We'll begin the morning with two panels focusing on technology readiness within the solar, wind, batteries, nuclear, and natural gas sectors. These panels will be moderated by:

  • Kevin Bullis, Senior Editor for Energy, MIT Technology Review
  • Eliza Strickland, Energy Reporter and Editor, IEEE Spectrum

The third panel of the morning will host a critical conversation among leading thinkers on carbon pricing, aggressive government funding for energy innovation, and robust clean energy deployment subsidies and mandates. This capstone panel will be moderated by:

  • David Leonhardt, Washington, D.C. Bureau Chief, The New York Times

Conference participants will discuss:

  • What does the natural gas revolution teach us about how to conduct energy innovation?
  • What improvements have we seen in solar, wind, and battery technologies, and how was this progress made? What can be expected of these highly promising but still nascent technologies and what's the best way to drive further improvements in cost and performance?
  • Is nuclear energy dead due to high up-front capital costs and public fears post-Fukushima? Or is there new hope in the small modular reactors (SMRs) that the Department of Energy is purchasing, as well as other radical new designs? What must be done to accelerate their innovation?
  • What should be the highest policy priorities of energy innovation advocates - RD&D, subsidies and mandates, carbon pricing, or a combination of approaches?

Registration is free, but space is limited so please REGISTER NOW. For media inquiries, please contact William Dube at or 202-626-5744.

We look forward to seeing you at Energy Innovation 2013.

Photo credit: AP Images