Last Thursday, the 2nd annual Green Economy Conference, organized by Ernst & Young, The Marker and Life and Environment, took place in Tel Aviv. The conference attracted over 700 attendees, beating expectations. You can read a pre-conference discussion with E&Y Cleantech Leader Itay Zetelny, and Cleantech Israel blogger Jonathan Shapira here.
Similar to many conferences, much of the action took place in the corridor. There were plenty of breaks, but some people never quite made it into sessions….
One of the major issues relates to the current financial crisis and it’s impact on the adoption of renewable energy. It is clear what is the opinion of those in attendance… Cleantech is not for the short term. The entire space has long term viability, but will struggle with short-term challenges like everybody else.
Nick Parker, of the Cleantech Group, reflected on how the industry has developed in the past 5 years, with increasing amounts of capital invested, and quality of entrepreneurship getting better and better. This means that the supply side has come together, as we now move to the adoption phase.
There has been much discussion on the significance, or rather critical function that public policy plays in the adoption of new energy solutions. The Obama “New Energy for America” plan has the potential to have major impact on the development of this space. Check out an excellent blog post by Andrew Revkin of the NY Times entitled “Climate Plan Firm Amid Economic Woes”.
Actually, the Israeli government has also issued a plan in light of the current financial crisis… unfortunately, and very disappointingly, it failed to include anything pertaining to renewable energy.