Alexis Fearon 
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation


Tuesday January 29, 2013 from 8:30 AM to 1:30 PM EST

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JW Marriott 
1331 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Driving Directions 
ITIF LogoBreakthrough Institute

 Energy Innovation 2013


Date: Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Time: 8:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Location: Salons II and III of the Grand Ballroom, JW Marriott (1333 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)

Clean energy is at a crossroads. Thanks to public investments in nations like the United States, Europe, and China, solar, wind and battery technologies have over the last five years improved significantly and become cheaper, but still not as cheap as fossil fuels. Moreover, these investments, including the wind tax credit, are being scaled back or face annual threats of expiration. Meanwhile, innovations in the production of natural gas are displacing coal, generating billions in savings, and becoming the cleaner energy leader few foresaw.

So, what is the future of clean energy? On the one hand, Congress is divided over renewables, with the high-profile failure of taxpayer-funded Solyndra, and other clean tech companies, tarnishing green stimulus spending. On the other hand, 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) say they are optimistic they can reach bipartisan agreement on new energy legislation. And natural gas and nuclear - 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 clean tech been more important. Please join us for this important conference.

8:30 AM – 9:00 AM: Tea and Coffee
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM: Opening Remarks: Rob Atkinson, President, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
9:15 AM – 9:35 AM: Opening Keynote: Michael Shellenberger, President, The Breakthrough Institute

9:40 AM – 10:40 AM: The State of Clean Energy Technologies: Solar and Wind
Leading experts will discuss the present and future of solar and wind technologies. How close are these technologies to being cost and performance competitive without subsidies? What is a realistic roadmap for making solar a dominant energy technology of tomorrow? What’s the real potential of wind power? Are today’s U.S. deployment policies simply propping up solar and wind “Edsel’s?” What’s the potential for true solar and wind innovation?  Given a blank policy slate, what policies are really needed to move these technologies forward?

Panelist #1: Armond Cohen, Executive Director – Clean Air Task Force

Panelist #2:  Minh Le, Director – Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy

Panelist #3: Fort Felker, Director – National Wind Technology Center

Moderator: Kevin Bullis, Senior Editor for Energy, MIT Technology Review

10:45 AM – 11:45 AM: The State of Clean Energy Technologies: Nuclear and Energy Storage

Leading experts will discuss the present and future of baseload nuclear energy and energy storage for vehicles and utility scale energy. Large-scale nuclear energy has an uncertain future, but can advanced designs breakthrough the gridlock? What technological barriers are keeping nuclear from reducing costs? How far away are we from competitive electric vehicle and utility scale storage batteries and how do we get them?

Panelist #1: Ray Rothrock, Partner – Venrock

Panelist #2: Gwyneth Cravens, Author – Power to Save the World: The Truth About Nuclear Energy

Panelist #3: Phil Giudice, CEO – Ambri

Moderator: Eliza Strickland, Energy Reporter and Editor, IEEE Spectrum

11:50 PM – 12:10 PM: Lunch Break

12:10 PM – 1:25 PM: Debating the Future of U.S. Clean Energy Policy
Without a doubt, clean energy has made some progress in the last 5 years. Costs are down and some technology improvements have been made. But the fact remains the same – clean energy still isn't cost and performance competitive with fossil fuels. To the extent the current clean energy debate focuses on the development of better clean energy technologies (as opposed to simply scaling existing technologies) there is little consensus on the optimal clean energy innovation policy. Is it more subsidies? Different types of subsidies? Regulatory mandates? More support for R&D? A carbon tax? Or something else altogether?  John Broder of the New York Times will moderate a vigorous discussion among leading energy policy thought leaders on what path and makeup American clean energy policy should take in the coming years.

Panelist #1: Ted Nordhaus, Chairman – The Breakthrough Institute

Panelist #2: Fred Krupp, President – Environmental Defense Fund

Panelist #3: Matt Baker, Environment Program Office – The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Moderator: John Broder, Reporter, The New York Times

1:25 PM: Closing Remarks: Rob Atkinson, President, The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

For media inquiries, please contact William Dube at or 202-626-5744.