Since 2013 isn't an election year (well, sort of), cleantech hasn't been in the national spotlight in the same way. That means most of the key quotes are from people in the actual industry, making them a lot more intelligent -- but certainly not any less interesting.
Here are some of the best so far this year.
"We're fifteen to twenty years out of date in how we think about renewables," Dr. Eric Martinot told an audience this spring, arguing that the deployment of renewable energy has consistently exceeded conservative projections.
“Solar is growing so fast it is going to overtake everything,” said FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff in an interview published last week. Those are strong words from one of the country’s top energy regulators.
“In the first three months of this year, around 3,000 residential solar installations were completed in California with no state incentives," wrote Shayle Kann of GTM Research. He added, “We are on the cusp of an unprecedented shift in the U.S. solar market, and by extension the entire electricity market.” It’s hard to overstate the significance of these numbers.
“Some people in the utility industry have called it 'circling the drain,'” said Richard Kaufmann, New York’s first Energy Czar, speaking about the challenges utilities face as the increased penetration of distributed renewables threatens their business model.
"The interchange of information is creating a new paradigm for the energy efficiency market," said Greg Turner of Honeywell Building Solutions, talking about how IT is changing the efficiency industry. Greentech Media has welcomed this paradigm shift, releasing a white paper on “intelligent efficiency” earlier this year.
"I don't think very highly of Henrik Fisker. [...H]e thinks the reason we don't have electric cars is for lack of styling," said Elon Musk, CEO of electric vehicle maker Tesla, speaking to Automobile magazine, about the founder of struggling rival Fisker Automotive.
"It's good stuff, but it's expensive, and we have to find business cases," said Stephen Berberich of the California ISO, referring to the difficulties in building out grid-scale energy storage.
“Energy benchmarking is so 2010,” said Sam Brooks, associate director of the Energy & Sustainability office of Washington, D.C. Having already benchmarked its building stock with Energy Star scores, the city is using interval data to reduce the energy use in more than half of its 30-million-plus square feet of municipal facilities by 20 percent in twenty months.
“We think storage will be absolutely necessary to enable the deployment of solar across the grid at extremely high penetrations," said Eric Carlson, lead architect of energy systems at SolarCity, speaking about the company’s experience with its first 100 installations of residential energy storage systems.
"NextWave greentech investing is about new investment models, not necessarily new investors," wrote Rob Day, a partner at Black Coral Capital, explaining his NextWave investment thesis. Day is chair of the NextWave investment conference being held by Greentech Media next month in Menlo Park, California.