Energy Powering Innovation
The morning session on power during Thursday’s MITEF Innovation Summit kept attendees tuned in as speakers discussed alternative energy topics from wind dams to waste gasification. After a thought-provoking keynote by Dr. John Kao, the conference divided into its three sectors for the remainder of the day.
Stephen Connors, director of the Analysis Group for Regional Energy Alternatives at the MIT Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, kicked off the power sector and didn’t disappoint, discussing some of the most innovative, albeit sometimes far-off, energy technologies out there. Particularly interesting was Connors’ analysis of some of the more far-reaching energy technologies that haven’t yet become, as Connors put it, “the next killer amp.” He pointed out that an overemphasis on technology can lead to serious reliability issues when it comes to saving energy in today’s marketplace. While full of innovation, ideas like Chetwood Associates’ wind dam or the US Department of Energy’s FutureGen clean coal projects raise serious questions about necessity, convenience, reliability and even style – all concerns Connors listed for consumers and investors alike in the world of alternative energy.
Following up on Connors’ talk, the breakout session in the power track featured a panel made up of William Davis, president and CEO of Ze-gen, Jim Gordon, president of Cape Wind, and Dr.
Each speaker talked about the different hurdles they overcame as their companies took shape in the always-changing energy market. Davis, CEO of Ze-gen, a developer of waste gasification technology which converts waste into electrical energy, talked about trying not to upset the large waste management companies and also choosing to use only specific forms of waste in order to make permitting as smooth a process as possible.
For Jim Gordon and
More Innovation Summit coverage to come…