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Vol. 14, No. 17 — September 12, 2012
We are on the cusp of the next great era. We are saying goodbye to the energy technology of the first industrial revolution, and leading the charge for the 21st century, with cleaner energy and smarter energy use. We are saying goodbye to the pollution and disease of antiquated energy production and sources, and moving into a future with cleaner air and water, the beginning of the end for climate-destroying pollution, and a world where the public's health is no longer put in peril by energy use.
Pennsylvania and the region are leading this march into the clean energy future. Our entrepreneurs, business leaders, policy makers, investors, and advocates have already laid the groundwork. They have built the businesses to meet the challenge. They have passed policies and regulations to help level the playing field for clean energy and energy efficiency. And they have raised the money to invest in research and development to continuously advance clean energy technology.
And this week, we will take another giant step into the future at PennFuture's Clean Energy Conference in Philadelphia. On Thursday and Friday, leaders from seven states will take part in the event, all working to establish our region as the Clean Energy Hub of the future.
The speakers and panelists will be mapping our journey, discussing the state of the clean energy world, what's working to advance it, and what needs to be improved. And in between the formal speakers, attendees from throughout the region will be networking and planning — cementing our leadership as the Clean Energy Hub.
The conference starts with a real live look at the future with an optional tour of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. This living lab provides a road map for smarter energy use, serving as a best practices model for commercial building design, historic adaptive re-use, and energy efficiency innovation through continuous retrofit. The goal of the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub is to discover how to cut building energy use in existing buildings by 50 percent by 2015.
At noon on Thursday, the conference gets off to a rousing start with a presentation by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter. With a pledge to make Philadelphia the greenest city in America, Nutter has launched an aggressive strategy — Greenworks Philadelphia — that will reduce the city's carbon footprint and train Philadelphians for new green collar jobs, from weatherization to solar panel installation. And as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Nutter is leading the charge for clean energy and energy efficiency to grow great jobs, revitalize our cities, and improve our economy and environment.
Conference attendees will hear from other great visionaries, too. Richard Kauffman, senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Bob Inglis, executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative and former U.S. Representative (R-South Carolina). Mark Fulton, managing director and global head of climate change investment research for Deutsche Bank. Lee Davis, senior vice president and northeast regional president of NRG Energy. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, who is leading the First State — and the nation, as chair of the National Governors Association — by moving offshore wind from the drawing board to the grid. Kathleen McGinty, former Clinton White House Chair of the Council On Environmental Quality, confidant of former Vice President Al Gore, and former Pennsylvania Secretary of Environmental Protection. And Friday's conference luncheon speaker is Pennsylvania's own clean energy champion, former Gov. Edward G. Rendell, who is also serving as the Honorary Conference Chair.
Throughout both days, conference attendees will also hear from the investors, organization leaders, entrepreneurs, lobbyists, and yes — policy wonks (our favorite folks!) — who are leading the charge into the clean energy future.
So say goodbye to old energy thinking and the problems it brings. And say hello to the Clean Energy Future, with our region as the hub. Because the future is now.
There are still a few seats left for this week's Clean Energy Conference. Register online until Wednesday at noon (9/12) or onsite at the conference at the Doubletree Hotel -- Philadelphia Center City.
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