The World Energy Innovation Forum (WEIF), an annual event to discuss important energy issues and opportunities, took place in early May this year. The 2016 event took place at Tesla Fremont Factory in California and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, took to the stage first, kicking off this year’s forum. An impressive line-up of speakers included key policymakers and industry leaders.
The speakers at this year’s forum addressed important energy issues and the opportunities to overcome them. Carina Whitham, President of The Whitham Group’s Executive Recruiters, wrote in a post on LinkedIn that there were four world-changing things she learnt at the event.
She said The Whitham Group learnt: “Renewable energy projects are ahead of schedule, technology (and Silicon Valley) will produce world-changing ideas in the next ten years, energy innovation should not be a partisan issue and America’s best and brightest are focused on energy.”
Carina Whitham added in a separate post: “The honour of being in a room with some of the top industry though leaders that are driving change and shaping the future of energy was just mind blowing.
“We attended as many conferences as our calendars allow to stay connected to our candidates, clients and of course staying abreast of the trends that are being driven by technology and public policy, yet this event was nothing we have ever experienced.”
In their May newsletter, Mintz Levin Energy Technology, put together “Mintz Levin’s Top Takeaways from the World Energy Innovation Forum. They echoed what The Whitham Group said about technology, saying: “The next decade will bring about big changes for renewables and robotics. ‘50 per cent of all cars will have autonomous driving in 10 years,’ said Elon Musk. ‘Machine intelligence is on track to vastly exceed human intelligence – exponentially.’ He also noted that the fundamental issue with fossil fuels is that every fossil fuel powered vehicle on the road is subsidised.”
Mintz Levin also said that “start-ups are being nurtured, green technology and increased energy efficiency are still alive despite the significant drop in oil and gas costs and we need to keep innovating.”
Some of the speakers at this year’s World Energy Forum included: Steven Chu, 12th United States Secretary of Energy, Tony Fadell, Founder and CEO of Nest, SVP and Google, George Shultz, Former US Secretary of state, Xavier Helgesen, Co-founder and CEO of Off Grid Electric, Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of GE, Ellen Williams, Director of Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPA-E, Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Professor, Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, Former Vice President of Energy at Google and Founding Director of ARPA-E, John Hennessy, President of Stanford University, and John Morton, White House Senior Director for Energy and Climate Change and National Security Council.
Other speakers were Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy, Dan Arvizu, Chairman of the National Science Board and Director Emeritus of the National Renewable Energy Lab, Kristina Skierka, Campaign Director of Power for All, Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner of DBL Partners, Akon, singer and Founder of Akon Lighting Africa, Ira Ehrenpreis, Managing Partner of DBL Partners and Chairman of World Energy Innovation Forum, Andres Gluski, President and CEO of AES, Susan Kennedy, Founder and CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions and Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity and Andy Karsner, Managing Partner of The Emerson Collective.
For more information visit the World Energy Innovation Forum website.