Clean Energy Economy Forum: Clean Energy Supply Chain Panel


Uploaded by whitehouse on 16.07.2010

Transcript:
Andrei Greenawalt: Hi, everyone.
My name is Andrei Greenawalt.
I'm one of the deputy directors in Cabinet Affairs,
and you're not going to hear from me today,
but I'm just going to welcome our first panel up to the stage.
We've got a great panel lined up for you,
it's going to be moderated by John Fernandez who is the
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development.
He, as you know, oversees EDA, and is charged with leading the
federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation,
competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and
success in the global economy.
He'll be joined by three great panelists today.
We have Frank Calzonetti who is a Professor of Geography and the
Vice President for Research Development at University of
Toledo and director of the University Clean Energy
Alliance in Ohio.
You'll be hearing more about his work in a little
bit from him directly.
We have Joyce Ferris who is the founder and managing partner of
Blue Hill Partners.
And finally, we have William Trey Taylor,
who is the cofounder and President of Verdant Power.
So with that, I will welcome our panelists up to the stage
and look forward to a good discussion.
Thanks very much.
John Fernandez: Good morning.
Thank you for your willingness to participate in this
discussion today, and that's really I think our overall goal
is to hear a little bit from our panels,
but really to get much more interaction engagement with all
of you so we can continue the kind of dialogue we need.
As the Secretary said, you know there's clearly an opportunity
to link energy with job creation and to drive our economy,
and certainly to do that, we need the partnerships between
the public and private sector to help make sure that we're all
moving in the right direction.
We've got a great panel today that really represents a range
of the kinds of participants we need to really move this whole
commercialization to job creation and change that
we're looking for.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time with opening comments,
other to say that you heard from the Secretary about some of the
work that the Department of Commerce is engaged in,
particularly on the international front as well as
some of our domestic activities.
The Economic Development Administration,
many of you may or may not have ever heard of our work,
we're focused much more on building competitive
regions and working with public/private partnerships,
universities and others to build the kind of eco-system we need
at that street level to support an innovation agenda.
We've been engaged in all parts of the country.
I've been on the road quite a bit since my appointment.
And in many places throughout the country,
some of the emerging clusters that we've focused on are really
being driven by the clean tech and renewable energy space.
Just this Monday, I was in Fort Collins, Colorado,
some terrific activity going on around, you know,
creating a whole zero emission district.
They are doing some terrific work around experimenting on
smart grid technology, and bringing into that multiple
sources of renewable energy to test systems to make sure that
we know the best way to have an efficient grid to handle
multiple sources of renewable energy.
There's terrific work going on, like I said,
all over the country and we're happy to be a part of that.
We're also heavily engaged with the ERIC,
the Energy Regional Innovation Cluster.
That's a really unprecedented effort of the federal government
and a real testament to President Obama's desire
to change how we do business in Washington,
and it's driving these interagency collaborations,
so you have seven different federal agencies working to
build up a regional innovation cluster around energy efficient
building design materials, and that's a pretty exciting project
and it's I think, frankly, unprecedented in terms of
the level of interagency work.
And so as we go forward, that will be a model that will apply
to other areas of regional innovation cluster development.
At this time I will go ahead and hand it off to our panelists.
You heard a little bit about who they are.
I may add a little bit more to that.
And then after we introduce all three panelists,
we'll let them make their -- they're going to make
their opening comments.
And we'll go ahead and have all three make their comments before
we engage in the Q&A.
So I know you're going to have some good questions and
suggestions and input, but we'll wait until we get through
all three of the panel members before we get
into that kind of interaction.
You know, Dr. Calzonetti, as it was mentioned,
he's with the University of Toledo,
Vice President of Research and Development.
He's responsible for their research initiatives,
driving their research development planning,
tech transfer and commercialization efforts.
The university has a clean and alternative energy incubator
that he's in -- you know, charge with leading as well.
Joyce Ferris is a founding member of -- managing partner
of Blue Hill Partners.
She has over 24 years of experience investing in green
technology businesses, and she also has extensive experience
in management and development of green tech projects.
Unique set of skills, you know, from demonstrating leadership
with hands-on transactions as well as management experience
in the sector.
Her projects have included a pretty wide range of green tech
initiatives from energy efficiency, biomass,
agricultural waste, fired energy projects,
waste and coal-fired power plants, geothermal, electric
-- hydroelectric projects.
So it's quite the portfolio.
And then Mr. Taylor is a cofounder and President of
Verdant Power, and he directs their marketing and new business
development efforts.
He's been in this business for over 30 years as well,
managing -- with management and development,
marketing communications, wide range of experiences.
I'm real interested in hearing about Verdant Power as well,
because they're in the whole wave business,
and we're seeing a lot of interest in that in
our work as well.
So with that, let me go ahead and turn it over
to Dr. Calzonetti.
Thank you.
Frank Calzonetti: Thank you very much, Mr. Fernandez.
In recent decades, many states and cities have worked to
revitalize their economies, particularly in regions such
as the Midwestern part of the United States.
And the State of Ohio is no exception to this,
and we are working to develop an economy to support rapidly
growing industries, particularly in the clean tech area that
really are grounded in science and engineering,
and also very closely tied to our research universities.
University of Toledo has placed regional economic development
and community engagement as one of our top priorities
in our mission.
This is strongly endorsed by our state government leaders.
And with the support of federal programs such as
through the Economic Development Administration and the National
Science Foundation, and with state funding,
we have been able to contribute to a transformation of our
region as a center in the nation's clean energy economy,
particularly around solar energy.
Toledo is still known as the glass city.
It was once a center for inventions in the
glass industry.
It was driven by the energy of talented
entrepreneurs and inventers.
Toledo brought forth many inventions in the glass
industry over the last century.
Solar energy, particularly thin film photovoltaics built upon
Toledo's glass industry history as early entrepreneurs moved
into solar energy as an opportunity to sell more glass.
One of the first entrepreneurs to develop solar energy -- a
solar energy company was Harold McMaster.
McMaster with his partners Norm Nitschke and Frank Larimer
formed Glasstech Solar in 1984 to produce solar cells by
coating glass with thin layers of chemicals.
As McMaster and his colleagues advanced their technology,
they sought out the assistance from the University of Toledo.
Together they competed, and with won awards from the State of
Ohio's Edison program; and they established laboratories within
the University of Toledo.
In 1999, investors came in and renamed this company as First
Solar, and most of you know about that company.
In 2001, the University of Toledo made a decision to place
solar energy research as a top institutional priority by
placing additional positions supporting new laboratories and
working to create business and community leaders in this area.
This story illustrates the value of universities in supporting
industry development and the importance of state funding
for research that leads toward commercialization.
The State of Ohio has taken steps to promote
technology-based economic development with a special role
for the universities to be exchange agents in their region.
Ohio Third Frontier is a $2.3 billion program that began in
2002 to support research that leads toward commercialization,
entrepreneurship, and incubation of activities.
The newly created university system of Ohio calls for each
university to create research centers of excellence that
support regional economic development and other needs.
The University of Toledo has received a Center of Excellence
Designation from Governor Strickland in the area of
advanced renewable energy and the environment.
Toledo's leaders understand that research and development,
when translated into innovation with entrepreneurship,
cluster development, can move a region into developing leading
positions in growing markets.
We understand the important role of university research
as a primary source of discoveries, talent and
opportunities that can support innovation-based economies.
Our university has focused its attention in areas where it has
particular faculty strength that supplement regional assets that
are also likely to emerge as important to our global economy.
Entrepreneurship is needed to transition discoveries
into the marketplace.
Toledo, as I mentioned, has a history of entrepreneurship
in glass, which continues today, with contemporary
solar energy entrepreneurs.
Research shows that knowledge is still highly localized,
and growths through various mechanisms of
knowledge transfer.
A clustering of sources of innovation,
research universities, government laboratories
and industry -- industrial R&D labs, along with entrepreneurs,
business enterprises, government organizations and agencies help
to provide a region with leadership in technological
areas that drive competitive advantage and workforce
development around the clusters' needs.
The National Science Foundation was early in understanding the
importance that universities play in stimulating innovation
in their region, particularly through their Partnership
for Innovation Program.
The University of Toledo, for instance,
was successful in receiving a 600,000 NSF Partnership for
Innovation award in 2002 to create the Northwest Ohio
Partnership on Alternative Energy Systems.
This project, a successful university industry partnership,
allowed us to see new research project,
open our clean and alternative energy incubator and establish
new partnerships with industry and others.
We continue to strengthen our partnership with business,
the State of Ohio and economic development partners.
Right now, we are seeking more federal funding available to
support these activities, including a $1 million from
the EDA's i6 challenge, and we are seeking out support
through these programs to help transform our economy.
We have joined forces with Wayne State University in Detroit in
our recently submitted proposal, last night,
to form the Detroit --
John Fernandez: (inaudible) get lobbied.
(laughter)
Frank Calzonetti: Detroit/Toledo partnership
for accelerating innovative businesses.
While these programs are vital, the level of awards is really
not enough to transform entire regional economies.
This is why the full funding of the $12 million NSF request for
innovation eco-systems is so important.
In our proposal for the i6 challenge, we're asking
for help to address problems facing many
universities interested in commercializing their research,
a proof of concept fund.
More federal funds to help validate the commercial
potential of discoveries would help strengthen the university
industry innovation pipeline.
We are very concerned that technology developed in Ohio
and other places in the U.S. through federal and state
research funding may help build strong overseas industries that
sell product back to us.
We who are involved in renewable energy are very concerned that
we're losing our leadership to China.
We appreciate that the U.S. Department of Energy understands
that manufacturing leadership in solar energy is at risk unless
new partnerships are formed, and so it has put forth
$125 million toward the PD manufacturing initiative.
The University of Toledo has joined with Dow Corning in
creating the Solar Valley Research Enterprise,
with financial support from both the State of Michigan and the
State of Ohio, and is submitting a proposal to this program to
ensure that the U.S. retains leadership in crystalline
silicon and in thin film photovoltaics.
Our Wright Center for Photovoltaics Innovation
and Commercialization, again a program developed through state
funds, has provided us with the unique laboratory facilities and
equipment to help us work with industry.
Our clean and alternative energy incubator opened in 2005,
and this facility is now a focal point for linking university
research to the formation of new companies,
as well as providing a place for meetings and other discussions
on solar and renewable energy technologies.
Since opening, we have already had a 700 million impact on
Northwest Ohio's economy.
We were successful in winning awards for the economic
development administration to invest in incubation
research park infrastructure.
$2 million EDA awards were very important,
but only provides a partial funding to support the
infrastructure development for these facilities.
The University of Toledo and many other universities have
accepted the new role of economic exchange agents
for their region.
For the most part, activities to promote economic development and
technology transfer to industry is supported by the universities
themselves by redirecting funds from other areas.
For instance, at UT, we moved our technology transfer staff
to the base budget instead of funding them from royalty
revenue, thus sending a message that the broader impact of our
research on economic development is more important than immediate
royalty revenue.
We have also moved $10 million from university auxiliary
accounts into a new entity, UT Innovation Enterprises to invest
in promising start-ups.
The federal government understands the role of
universities and public and private partnerships and with
state government and understands the difference they could make.
But much more funding is needed from the national level than
exists at the current program, so we're going
to be transforming regional economy.
Thank you very much.
John Fernandez: Thank you. Joyce?
Joyce Ferris: Thanks very much.
It's a pleasure to be here, and I think it's great work to
strengthen the eco-system, which is a system I've lived in for
-- I think it's now over 25 years in the energy industry.
I'm going to apply a perspective that's really at the next stage
beyond where Frank is focused, which is companies that have --
companies and technologies that have reached some level of
commercialization and some of the challenges
that are out there.
The first point, and I'm just going to make observations and
then we can go further in the Q&A, but the first point,
and this is one that Secretary Locke made,
is there is lots of institutional capital,
billions of dollars looking to enter this space,
but the capital is sitting on the sidelines,
and certainly a stable policy environment is key,
but even with that, there's also a desire to see lower risk,
more stable returns, more predictable returns than
venture, which has been one of the leading drivers or
investment classes into this sector.
There's a desire to invest in more mature companies,
in growth-oriented capital, and in funding deployment
of technologies and service businesses.
So, and we see that as a huge opportunity,
but it requires a level of innovation about business
models and about financial fund structures in order to do that.
One of the things -- so putting that aside that there's capital
out there, one of the questions is how do companies move beyond
-- and this is -- I'm operating on the assumption that companies
have made it through the first stage of the valley of death and
they've got commercial product, it works, it's proven,
they've maybe had a pilot installation or many multiple,
there's still enormous challenges in navigating
the eco-system and in selling to gigantic vertical markets,
which is where the -- what the opportunity is in this sector.
The bottom line is companies need more than just investment
capital to move forward.
One of the huge -- one of the biggest things companies need
is help with sales, they need channels to market,
they need navigation help within large vertical markets.
At the same time, companies that would be customers,
industrial property -- industrial companies,
property owners and the energy efficiency and onsite renewable
sector, utilities, they need help navigating how
to select between emerging technologies and who's
proven and who's stable.
So there's a huge opportunity, as we see,
to bridge holes in the eco-system, if you will,
to go and this is -- this is after getting out of the labs
and the universities.
We see a tremendous opportunity to do that.
And we see a place for the federal government
to act as an example in this regard in a number of ways.
Number one, the federal government itself as a customer
is an enormous opportunity.
The potential spend and the requirements for all of the
federal agencies to comply with the most recent executive order
around sustainability are mind boggling, and they need,
just as any other property owners that have tackled this,
they need help sorting through what are the best technologies,
what are the best strategies, what are the best business
models, as well as how are we going to fund it.
But there's an opportunity for the federal government to act
as a customer in that regard, to also act as an early stage
adopter, a sophisticated early adopter that -- and potentially
a champion of best practices and best solutions.
We also see a huge opportunity beyond the federal government
as a customer for the federal government,
and interagency cooperation I think is key here in
facilitating and convening all of these pieces to the puzzle,
education, training, best practices,
and potentially as a convener and an organizer of various
stakeholders, including vertical markets and integrating between
technology developers on the one hand who tend to have their head
down and are focused most on getting their technology to a
certain stage, and facility owners in the case of energy
efficiency, which is a big sector of ours,
or fleet owners for transportation or whatever
who are thinking beyond just the technology,
and they're thinking about business models that work.
So I think those are the key points I would throw out there.
There's lots more, but I'll stop at that and
be ready for questions.
John Fernandez: Great.
All right, thank you very much.
Trey.
William Trey Taylor: My name is Trey Taylor, and as introduced,
cofounder of a company called Verdant Power.
We're in the marine power industry, so we're sort of
a sub sector, if you will,
of renewable energy.
Our technology can be best described as looking at
wind turbines underwater.
And our technologies work both vertical or horizontal axis-type
turbines in rivers, tidal currents, ocean currents,
they could work as augmented power behind dams,
lots of applications for this type of technology.
Our show case project is New York City in the East River.
It is the world's first grid connected array of tidal energy
turbines, it's been successful.
We are now filing for our commercial license with FERC,
which we expect to get later this year, early next year.
It will be the first commercial project operating in the
United States, perhaps in the world in the sense of
the tidal array turbines.
We have a second project underway on the St. Lawrence
River up state from New York, and that's in the river.
So we have tidal projects and river projects underway.
The potential for this power in the State of New York alone is
over 1,000 megawatts.
And our business partner on this project is the New York
State Energy Research and Development Authority.
Without them, we wouldn't be where we are here today.
But let me -- let me share this with you.
Our total focus as a company is to design
and build reliable technology.
We're about to commercialize our generation 5 technology,
but already we're working on generation 7 technology
with the support of the National Renewable Energy
Lab and Sandia Labs.
But, we look at what we're doing too as sort
of our early flights.
Think of what we're doing is sort of bi-planes and
the technology to follow is something else to behold,
and I'll give you that sort of a hint at things.
But let me add what we're doing to what I call the other
offshore alternative energies, and this is sort of my challenge
to the United States Government or to any governments for that
matter when it comes to leading renewable energy.
If you were to look at the total potential from such
technologies, as what we're doing,
tidal currents and ocean currents,
you add to that the potential of wave power, offshore wind,
solar power, floating platforms off sea, salient gradient,
I can go on and on, thermal energy, that total potential,
when combined, it's equal to more than 28 times the world's
current energy consumption.
More than 28 times the world's current energy consumption.
Now who's going after that?
Who's teaming up with the maritime industry
to go after that?
The answer is nobody yet, but the opportunity is
sitting there.
And that's not all.
So let me put this in the context of
the water energy nexus.
This to me is the world's biggest problem.
Water uses energy and energy uses water,
and we're running out of both.
Now, when we have reliable energy technologies working,
as I mentioned that whole list particularly of offshore,
on to rivers, here's what follows in terms of innovation.
Reliable, clean energy, the next thing you can do once
you have these kinds of kinetic hydropower systems operating in
all kinds of water fashions, is you could then integrate them
with reverse osmosis systems.
The mechanical power from the rotors pumps dirty or saltwater
through electrified membranes who are already making
electricity from already dirty or saltwater,
so now you have potable water coming out of these systems.
You could also be pumping clean water in irrigation
on to fields; you could reverse the process and be pumping air
into anoxic waters for aeration systems.
All these are new things that could be integrated into these
systems operating the water currents.
But that's not all.
I feel like a peeler commercial.
John Fernandez: But there's more.
William Trey Taylor: There's more.
(laughter)
William Trey Taylor: And here's what gets most interesting.
If you look at the mother lode of water currents,
it's the Gulf Stream, and the only place that's practical for
delivering electricity off the coast of Miami,
but further off you may have floating hydrogen production
facilities actually extracting hydrogen for fuel cells
offshore, or during off peak hours extracting hydrogen from
systems that may be right in rivers next to cities for
stationary fuel cells.
But again, that's not all.
I have more.
There is something else going on that intrigues me no end,
and that's in the production of liquid ammonia.
Now, in the early days of automobiles,
NH3 was used just like gasoline in combustion engines.
It still could be done that way, and the way you make liquid
ammonia, NH3, is by combining water or saltwater with air.
That liquid can be used just like gasoline in combustion
engines, and when you burn ammonia,
the byproduct is clean water, not CO2.
Now, who in the world is producing ammonia
for combustion engines?
Nobody I know of, but the opportunity is there.
And again, these could be offshore floating platforms
in the Gulf Stream producing ammonia.
And also with ammonia you can produce fertilizer
and other uses.
So, I lay this out sort of as a challenge to the government in
terms of invention and innovation,
but also to share another point with you.
None of this would be happening without government support.
We wouldn't be doing, as I mentioned before,
what we're doing in New York, if it wasn't for NYSERDA,
the State of New York.
We also got funding from the U.S. Navy.
We're also getting a lot of funding from the Canadian
government for our project on the St. Lawrence River.
We do have a proposal before DOE,
hopefully we'll get some funding for our New York project to
commercialize that project.
So here's the other challenge.
The private sector will not fund technology development.
Historically it's always come from the government.
So the government needs to provide what I would call
a market push and pull.
When I say a market push, there needs to be grants and awards
given to the development of each technologies.
And on the pull side, there has to be economic incentives for
us who are in the marketplace developing projects to go there.
The reason they're on the St. Lawrence River is not
New York, it's Ontario.
Ontario's providing a feed-in tariff,
and it's a 40 year feed-in tariff.
That's why we're there.
It's why we'll go to the UK, because they have large
renewable energy credits.
That's why we'll go there.
China has just passed legislation where they'll
pay us $1.15 a kilowatt hour for our marine power.
Now, as a businessman, I've got to go there.
So that's what I want to leave with everybody,
these kinds of challenges and innovation and invention
and the role I see the federal government playing in both.
John Fernandez: Great.
Well thank all three of you.
At this point we want to open it up to Q&A.
We have microphones on both sides of the stage here,
so we would ask you to step up and dive right in.
Go ahead and introduce yourself as well.
Scott Sklar: Sure. I'm Scott Sklar, I run the Stella Group here in Washington,
and work with many of the technologies discussed here.
I want to build on the comments of Mr. Lu and Ms. Ferris today.
We know these clean technologies reduce
energy and increase reliability.
We know they reduce emissions, and sometimes reduce water use.
We know they enhance homeland security,
and we know they increase agricultural productivity
and strengthen our defense.
So we know that.
But with new technology, and this is the question for the
panel, what I see in working with all these technologies and
all these clean tech companies that are innovation,
that's what this panel's about, is they need validation.
You just can't have a great idea and that's what Trey's done so
well with Verdant, but it was a long road to hoe to
get that validation.
And I want you to remember what I just said is we have these
national labs at DOE, EPA, USDA, DOT, DOD, and they're very good.
But, they really are not very agile.
You can't come in and walk in with a new idea and say
help validate it.
They look at you and say, oh, we have this R&P process or we have
this initiative going on, and there's no portal,
and what we really need -- and I want your comments on this,
is what I'm concluding -- is to create some portals where these
labs can work with these companies together,
not tons of time or money, but the private sector investors and
the end users that I represent need technology validation.
They're not going to buy a kinetic turbine without somebody
saying, you know, under the conditions they present in
the water here with the load you have, with the end use you have,
makes sense.
So I'd be interested, just briefly, whether you think
we really need to, you know,
we have an Administration that's very open in this,
but can we stir the pot so it can be more valuable to the
companies we're talking about and rev them a little more so
that they can aggregate markets and scale.
Thank you.
John Fernandez: Thank you. Who'd like to take first crack at that?
Joyce?
Joyce Ferris: Well, I can take the first crack.
I fully agree and I think I use the word a lot, navigation,
that both customers and companies need help navigating
what's a fast moving emerging, very exciting market, but,
there's navigation of and validation,
and the national labs are a really good example,
but even across agencies as customers,
we've seen companies that have touched the national labs,
at a couple of the different DOE national labs, for instance,
and they don't know it across, they don't know it amongst
themselves, and DOE doesn't know it, and FEMP doesn't know it,
and GSA doesn't know it, and Navy doesn't know it,
and there just needs, it's communications.
And for a small emerging company to do the job of trying to
connect the dots within the federal government
is a bit daunting.
So I fully agree that there needs to be some sort of
centralized portal or some way for just to create more
efficiency just that in itself would be enormously powerful.
Frank Calzonette: I would agreen that this is a very important need,
and there's really very little funding out there to
support that, and we have some very promising technologies,
we have maybe some start-up companies trying to get the
next step of investment it's very difficult until
you have this validation.
And so this is something that we're trying to get more support
for and, you know, we have put up some funds to do it
ourselves, but very important national need, I agree.
William Trey Taylor: Scott, you're right about our own struggles.
When we began our project it was in 2002,
and we look at getting a commercial license now
maybe in 2011.
So it's what, how many years is that, almost nine, ten years.
When I talked to the Chinese how fast it would take to get
our technology in their water they said six months.
Scott Sklar: Right.
William Trey Taylor: And so there you are, and you have, we have,
and you're right, we've been struggling to get the money
to be able to keep moving us forward.
We've been able to do it, but it's been a long,
arduous process that's almost, well,
nearly has ground our innovation to a halt.
Scott Sklar: Right.
William Trey Taylor: So I look also at places like the UK,
which have laid out pathways for marine power development with
funding each step of the way once they hit these milestones.
And so the British government has been tremendous in support
of the technologies in our sector that are
being developed there.
But there is an example of what might be done here.
John Fernandez: We'll move over to this side.
Thank you.
Ben Schwartz: I'm Ben Schwartz, I'm with Scuderi Group,
we're a small research and development company in West
Springfield, Massachusetts.
We have developed a highly efficient low polluting
internal combustion engine.
This is 40 to 50% more efficient,
80% lower NOx emissions, a significant improvement.
We will likely sign up for its licensing agreements with major
engine manufacturers this year.
Now, I want to make clear we are not in competition with electric
hybrids because essentially this is a scalable technology.
This is: you can put in a lawn mower up to a cruise liner,
anything in between with a piston-driven engine.
Now, my concern is that, and the Secretary and Mr. Calzonetti
discussed national security, and our position vis-à-vis,
you know, other global powers.
My concern with the government's apparent headlong rush towards
electric drive trains is the rare earth metals and the
minerals upon which this technology depends come from
highly unstable regions that if we do move in that direction
headlong, will then have leverage over us in the
manner of the Middle East and other oil producers
with petroleum products.
And I'm wondering what the overall calculation on the
part of government is for addressing that concern.
John Fernandez: That's a good question.
Anyone want to take that one?
Ben Schwartz: I'm sorry, I didn't mean to ask something that's irrelevant to
your panelists, but perhaps the Under Secretary
could address it.
John Fernandez: Well, I'm not sure I can, to be frank,
but I think you raise a good point.
It's a little bit, yeah.
I mean, if I go there, I don't -- frankly,
I'm not really ready to go there.
That's in a little bit different portfolio, I'm afraid.
Ben Schwartz: Pardon me, I apologize.
John Fernandez: No, that's okay. That's fine.
Frank Calzonette: I might just add I was in a meeting Wednesday with the U.S.
Joint China Commission, and this was a topic of great interest,
the fact that a lot of these metals are in China and we're
very vulnerable to that.
So that's something that is really an important topic,
I think, of consideration.
Ben Schwartz: With, I mean, we I'm sure all know that somewhere around
$3 trillion worth of minerals were discovered
in Afghanistan, so how does the dependence upon that affect our
involvement and duration there.
Anyway, I'm sorry for the off-track comment.
John Fernandez That's okay. Thank you. Yes, sir.
Mike Eckhart: Thank you for the opportunity.
It's a pleasure to be here.
My name is Mike Eckhart.
I'm the President of the American Council on Renewable
Energy here in Washington.
We have about 600 organizational members, we're a 501 C3.
I want to reinforce the idea of urgency. Urgency.
I think you're making the point here with this meeting about
importance, and we agree, but on urgency,
it's worse than we've talked about.
I received a communication this morning from a person who was
in the State Council of China sharing the insight that the
State Council of China passed an order this week, yesterday,
ordering all Chinese companies to implement
the going out strategy.
It's the going out strategy.
Resource companies shall continue to obtain natural
resources around the world, energy intensive industries
shall henceforth build their facilities in
developing countries.
They're exporting their emissions in order to get their
energy intensity numbers down that they've committed to.
Third, in the high-tech industries,
they are ordered to not just ship around the world,
they're directed to establish marketing and sales offices
around the world so they have personal understanding of the
market drivers and dynamics in public
policy in the U.S. and Europe.
And lastly and most worrisome, in the clean energy sector they
are directed now, and you will be shocked,
they are directed to go out and acquire companies that have IP.
The question of intellectual property rights will now be off
the table, they are coming here to buy our companies.
I can identify $21 billion that has been given,
given to five companies: Yingli, Sun Tech, Trina, Goldwyn,
and one I can't think of.
Five. Twenty-one billion. I can give you the numbers.
This is a serious strategy.
It's about to happen.
Second, released today, oddly enough, two news points today,
ACORE has just completed and printed this morning our survey
of all the major tax equity investors in the United States.
We actually called them all and found them by name.
And I give you their names, they're in here.
If the 1603 cash grant is not extended,
our estimate is that the tax equity,
the equity capital available for renewable energy projects in
this country next year will be down to between 1.2 and
$3 billion, down from $6 billion this year.
The capital available in our market,
if our current policy expires this year,
will be cut in half and possibly by a factor of
five if we don't act.
The second piece of news, our competitors are active,
so I just wanted to share these two factoids with you,
that there is a sense of extreme urgency here.
I thank you for this meeting, but I wanted to share that
news with you so it's in all of our considerations.
Thank you very much.
And I certainly would welcome your comments.
John Fernandez: I think I can say safely on behalf of the Administration
we share that urgency.
The President's been aggressive in his proposals;
you look at the significant amount of capital that was put
on the table through the Recovery Act,
and a lot of focus of multiple agencies on these issues.
It, you know, Washington is, I know you get in trouble for
stating the obvious here, but, you know,
it's a funny town when it comes to trying to get big things done
and, you know, we've been working hard on a comprehensive
energy policy to try and address some of these issues,
to get certainty into the system for a very long time.
And I can say that we'll continue to push because
we think that's paramount.
I mean, I hear that all the time with the companies I meet with,
is that; you know, what are the things that you could do
to help us the most?
And, you know, there's certainly the issues that we talk about,
the technical issues in terms of validation or venture capital,
early stage money, commercialization,
all those issues are out there, but the number one issue is we
need predictability and we need certainty.
Make a decision so we know what the market's going to look like
and then we'll get at it.
So we certainly share that urgency,
and appreciate others speaking out with the same kind of,
I guess passion about the importance of getting some
things done now.
Mike Eckhart: Thank you for your work.
Frank Calzonette: If I can just add, again, I've been trying to, two times or
less for years, and they're very much interested in thin
film technology, thin film photovoltaics.
When I said I was from Toledo it seemed like I could just be in a
regular meeting and people know about Toledo and thin
film photovoltaics.
You talk to mayors and they have all this detailed information.
They really are trying to move from crystals and silicon,
to get to the next generation and the third generation PV.
Very much interested in our intellectual property.
I came back just saying, well, how can we work,
what can we do to work together, having come up with solutions,
but it's something that it's on our mind every day.
The other point is that it's obvious that the Chinese are
going after our scientific and engineering experts.
I visited one company in Shanghai;
one person came from Applied Materials,
the other one from ANRO, another one from the
University of Minnesota, starting a company over there.
And, you know, we have a lot of, some of our grad students,
post docs out of our place are, you know,
getting offers in China.
And one of our spin-off companies can't get local
investment, you know, but now in China,
he's talking to people in China.
It is very scary and the urgency is there,
and we really need to take action.
William Trey Taylor: I had one quick thought to share,
and thanks, Mike, for reminding me of this.
In my travels through China I found there's a book that
everybody's reading in China, and one best way to describe
it is that China has one billion Rowans.
Now, if you don't know what a Rowan is you need to read
the book, "A Message to Garcia," Written in 1898,
about the Spanish American war in Cuba.
The American generals gave a package of materials to a young
Lieutenant Rowan from Virginia, who didn't speak Spanish,
didn't know where to find the Cuban General Garcia,
didn't even know where to begin.
The book wasn't about the four weeks it took Lieutenant Rowan
to find Garcia, it was about his attitude.
He grabbed the materials and saluted and said,
"I'll get the job done."
And in 1898 the author of this book said how many times have
you turned to somebody to get the job done and instead what
you hear is what do I do, how do I do it, where do I go.
That kind of whining.
In China, they're getting the job done, they're Rowans.
John Fernandez: Did you want to add anything, Joyce?
Joyce Ferris: No.
John Fernandez: Okay, great. Over here.
Karl Gawell: Thank you.
My name is Karl Gawell, I'm the Executive Director of the
Geothermal Energy Association, and first I want to thank
Secretary Locke for his recent trade missions.
It was interesting to see the collaboration with geothermal,
especially in Indonesia, which, is a sort of traditional market,
very fast growing market where U.S.
companies did $6 billion worth of export sales in the past,
but then for about the past eight or nine years that sort
of fell apart.
And so it was good to see the collaboration,
trying to help U.S. firms, because it is a competitive
world out there in many different ways, and U.S.
firms need that help.
But also what's developing is not just the traditional
geothermal markets, but we're seeing a lot of new technology,
and one of the points Trey made I wanted to underscore,
which is it's great to have the research support for new
technologies, new ideas, but then you also need the policy
support to make them happen in the marketplace.
And for example, we did a program in May looking at the
growing market around the world for geothermal technology,
and people are saying, well, where is all this advanced
geothermal technology happening?
Isn't it years away?
Well it might be years away in the United States,
but in Germany, they're doing it today.
It was stunning to see they have over 150 geothermal projects --
and let me tell you, Germany's not the ring of fire -- under
development, they're all advanced technology projects,
and when I was in Germany last year speaking at a conference,
it was clear to me they're looking at new technology in
these areas and saying we are going to be the world leaders,
not just by doing the research, but by developing
these products here.
You need both together to make these things work.
And before you comment, one note on strategic minerals.
In the '70s and '80s there was a tremendous interest in
geothermal areas particularly in southern California because
there are more minerals going through the geothermal power
plant tubes in southern California than you need for
the entire market for Lithium, for rare earths and others.
The problem is it's very tricky to get it out,
but we've had no investment in recent years in new R&D to
recover minerals from these fluids.
They are probably a bigger mineral resource than an
energy resource.
And it's something I know the Department through the stimulus
funding has made the first new investments in,
but it's an area which there's a great deal of interest that fell
apart for a number of years, and we're only beginning to see
interest, but that could be one route other than direct mining
to do rare earths, lithiums and other points.
But my main point was Trey's point about you need both.
You need the R&D and the market mechanism.
So as this initiative moves forward,
I hope it looks at how do you do both effectively.
John Fernandez: Great. Thanks.
Anyone want to comment on that?
William Trey Taylor: Here, here.
(laughter)
Karl Gawell: That's what I want to say.
John Fernandez: A lot of heads nodding.
Yes, sir.
Terry Boston: John, I'm Terry Boston with PJM Interconnection,
my question is for you.
We have the markets and we have the ability with the smart grid
to go process to devices ultimately,
and the markets are developing nicely.
We are the largest electricity market operator in the world,
and I am a Rowan and I know the problem of deliverability.
Electricity is not a source of energy,
it's a common currency of all sources of energy,
and we're having trouble making wire transfers of
that common currency.
The building of transmission is required for the renewables,
we have 3,000 megawatts of wind attached to the PJM system,
we have 3,000 in the queue -- excuse me, 3,000 under
construction and about 41,000 in the queue.
The offshore wind and the potential for hydroelectric
tidal power and current power is there,
but we can't get the permits to get the lines built that we need
to deliver that.
And I can give you two examples.
AEP built the last 765 line across the Allegheny Mountains,
took 14 and a half years to permit it through the Forest
Service and 18 months to build.
China built a 1,000 cable line in 13 months.
The North China grid grew 22% quarter over quarter first
quarter last year.
Could the Administration kind of come together on the permitting?
I have a permit across the Delaware River,
the governors have approved the project,
and I hear it takes three years to get the Park Service
to give us a permit.
I cross an existing right-of-way where there is an existing
transmission line.
Can the Administration put together someone to help us get
the lines built that would deliver these renewables into
the load centers and marketplace.
And that line goes into northern New Jersey and New York,
so it's critical, and I did meet with Governor Christie and the
governors are ready to go, waiting on the federal permits.
Can you help --
John Fernandez: That sounds like an action item.
Terry Boston: Can you help me, please, John.
(laughter)
John Fernandez: You know, I am the Secretary of Commerce for EDA and part
of my work is to make sure we're channeling a lot of
these ideas to the right folks to try and do this.
I know that that is, again, with the smart grid and just getting
a delivery system there are some complexities and we add to it
and where we can knock down and make that a simpler,
more streamline process, I mean, we absolutely want to.
And we'll certainly convey that and see if we can't
get more action on it.
Terry Boston: I remind you George Washington threw a silver dollar across the
Delaware River about this point but a dollar
would go a lot further back then.
So it's not about distance.
We need your help.
(laughter)
John Fernandez: Well, you know, as part of Joyce's point that I think
is incredibly relevant and I think it's one of the things
that the federal government can do that is not even a
budget-busting initiative.
And that's to get a more unified,
strategic alignment across agencies.
In my world, I mean, I know there is over 258 different
economic development programs but we're working to try and
build a framework to connect them up to get leverage to make
it a more seamless system.
The permitting structure I think is an area where -- this is just
John Fernandez's opinion, you know-- that's an area where I
think there is ripe for opportunities to address
these urgency issues.
And to make it a priority and get the right folks focused on
it so that we're, you know, bringing down the transaction
costs and expediting deployment of a lot of these new
technologies and opportunities.
Frank Calzonette: Mike Camry.
Just adding a comment about that 765 lineup starting with the
Wyoming and Cloverdale, yeah, back around 1988-89 I got
involved with AEP in Columbus and we were saying we have a
good geographic information system technology to help,
and they said we don't care how the line goes,
you just want to avoid any sensitive areas and
any sensitive sites, any historical, anything like that.
And we came up with a beautiful route for that line.
But the politicians, I think the politicians lacked the
will to follow on that.
Sorry it took us so long to get that thing cited.
I just wanted to point that out.
Speaker: Everybody -- (indiscernible comments)
Speaker: Both sides of the aisle.
How can you install it without me?
You just sit there.
All of us are busting our butts trying to innovate and here by
integration and here trying but trying is not getting it done.
Trying is just lip service.
People in a particular someplace.
Alla Weinstein: I'm Alla Weinstein.
I'm a cofounder and CEO of Principle Power,
a Seattle start-up.
A rare breed these days.
This is my second start-up.
The first one was something that Trey Taylor is doing in wave
energy and we managed to get through FERC and we managed to
get permits and we managed to actually get through a
lot of things.
But I would like to make three points: That we can start
technology development but as was Joyce saying nobody wants to
invest in commercialization and states basically
don't have money.
We are looking at the federal government to
help us with commercialization.
So a U.S. technology company had to go to Europe to do its
commercialization because we couldn't find any money here.
No, we didn't go to China, at least not yet.
Second point, when we started doing a FERC permitting process
and I was told it would take us five years to get the permit,
I didn't believe them.
Guess what it did?
It took us five years to get that.
Whatever else came with that ruling for the floating offshore
or for renewable energy on outer continental shelf and now
somebody put the schedule together and says it is going to
take seven years, I think we're going the wrong direction.
No private equity investor, no any investor that you can
imagine would put any money in to project development and sit
there and wait for seven years before they can get a permit to
a project that needs help.
So something has to be done.
You go talk to Ma Mass and say we have no way to do it.
We have the regulations and the rules.
Well, somebody gave them the regulations and the rules so if
we can maybe amend those regulations and those rules and
be able to get into installations within two years
that would be a lot more practical and it would be also
competative to the world.
And the third point is we have all the manufacturing
capabilities we need.
Our company does floating offshore winds,
another strange thing, because technology doesn't exist
anywhere else in the world.
We're the only U.S.
technology that can compete on the world market.
Yet we are finding ourselves fighting without a lot of
companies that are funded by their governments and yet we
have the capabilities, we have technological knowledge and the
manufacturing and the factories, one manufacturing is sitting
here, Oregon Ironworks that would love to fabricate
everything but who is struggling to get through commercial
points, advancements, permitting,
anything else you want.
And yet we hear please export.
Well, we can export and we will export but I don't think we are
helping ourselves.
John Fernandez: A lot of heads nodding.
Yes, sir.
Robert Wallace: Good morning.
Good morning, John.
I want to thank the panel for being here today.
My name is Robert Wallace; I'm CEO of a company called Bith
Energy located in sunny downtown Baltimore.
We work in the area of energy information systems and
renewable energy systems.
We built the energy information system for Governor O'Malley in
our great State of Maryland that he uses to cut our consumption
down by 15 percent by the year 2015.
We also build solar and wind systems.
My question to you, John, and the panel is,
and I think you are hearing this theme echoed this morning;
we specialize in focusing on renewable energy systems for low
income neighbors, low/middle income and emerging markets like
in Africa and Latin America.
We built a hybrid renewable energy home in South Baltimore
and ran into a great deal of challenges with local zoning and
government restrictions.
And my question to you first, John,
on a federal level is: what can we do?
What can the federal government do to help get those impediments
out of our way?
And then, to the panel is; you all are a cutting-edge
technologies, what are you advising your entrepreneurs to
do who are running into these same impediments, I'm sure,
in their jurisdictions?
We have launched projects hopefully in Liberia,
West Africa, and Brazil and we can move real quickly with the
government to get things done.
But here in our own country it's a challenge.
So my question is how would you respond to that?
John Fernandez: Well, you know, I'll take a crack at it.
And as a former mayor, you know, it's certainly insensitive to
the issues of federalism and what we can and can't do in
regard to mandating things as specific as zoning
laws at a local level.
But I think what we can do and what we have done in other areas
is that you create a system to put carrots and incentives for
communities to take certain actions and as part of that
process it would require some of those changes.
You see that are race to the top, for example,
in the education world and those other areas with the sustainable
communities where we can create an environment to encourage
those kinds of things but the federal government can't mandate
that as city councils change their zoning laws.
But I tell you, the thing that I see as well that many mayors,
though, across the country, are being incredibly aggressive at
leading the charge, making markets,
and driving some of the change that we're all interested in.
So now we just need to have a better fit with a more vertical
partnership between the states and the local government and the
federal government that's what I think but --
Joyce Ferris: I guess that's one point that I didn't make in my opening
comments, and this ties to some of the stimulus money
that is going out right now, that I was -- I participated as
a reviewer of the Retrofit Ramp-up Program,
which is all about funding to cities and states primarily
around energy efficiency, some on-site renewables.
And I think that is an enormous opportunity that as an investor
what my comments to DOE on that is, okay,
you guys have just started, you have made a first investment of
$80 million being leveraged by another five times which is the
objective, what's your follow-on strategy and how are you going
to, if you think of it the way I think of it is a fund management
strategy and how are you going to facilitate best practices
across these municipalities and cities.
Because the reinventing the wheel and learning everything
the hard way in sequence is just -- it's terrifying to see and
it's not a prudent use of capital if that's happening.
And they're certainly aware of it and they're trying
but it's a huge task.
But that's an example where the investment has already happened
and there is enormous opportunity to facilitate that.
And I think that is a good example and can help in a way
that's not just city by city.
Robert Wallace: And you mentioned,
Joyce that the capital is sitting on the side right now.
Part of the reason is is the uncertainty of the environment.
We can move that uncertainty, that capital will flow and we
will innovate.
Joyce Ferris: I have to say I started my career as a developer of
waste-fired power plants 25 years ago and I have been
through pretty much every technology that has been spoken
about, Heburd, Geothermal Projects in California,
Hydroelectric.
And the risk, the development risk and the single point that
could stop an entire deal including, you know,
a neighbor who doesn't want an interconnect,
those risks are so enormous that as an investor and my objective
as I said to begin with is finding ways to get enormous
amounts of institutional capital in to help drive this sector,
but all the risks that have been talked about I am sort of
remembering why I'm, actually our primary focus is focused on
energy efficiency and retrofit in the built environment partly
because there are fewer of those risks,
there are still enormous challenges.
But hearing everybody I'm remembering just exactly your
point, it's just, it's huge.
And capital, institutional capital does not want to wait
ten years for a single project --
Robert Wallace: Exactly, exactly.
Joyce Ferris: -- to generate a couple megawatts.
William Trey Taylor: Let me add to that and share with you a couple of
observations, if I may.
It's the permitting regulatory process that slows us way down
and that's why we can't get the capital.
In our project in New York, time and time again we heard from
field offices of different resource agencies that they
needed to hear from higher-ups that it wasn't
business as usual.
Otherwise everything just gets into the queue and you get this
bureaucratic inertia settling in.
Now on behalf of the bureaucrats, so to speak,
they are under budget and overworked.
And so that is part of the problem as well.
And the only way we are able to get our permits yanked out
sooner is by relying on our local congresswoman to send her
staff in there and march in there arms akimbo
to get our permits.
Now, let me contrast that--oh, and one more thing is because of
working in Canada, I found that the underlining principles there
is collaborative.
And the underlining principles in the U.S.
are adversarial.
And that's the other reason that you have a lot of these delays
is because you need the proper paperwork in place
to avoid suits.
Now, let me contrast that for a second-- and forgive me,
everybody, I'm teetering on being boorish talking about
China-- but let me share a story with you about how
things get done there.
A village in Western China had these pristine waters that were
being clouded and polluted by an upstream mine.
Now, the waters were a tourist attraction and now the mine was
ruining their water and their tourist attraction.
So they go to Beijing to appeal to do something about it.
Beijing said it's a local problem, you handle it.
So the villagers went back up to the mine and blew it up.
Robert Wallace: I like that!
(laughter)
Speaker:
(indiscernible conversation)
John Fernandez: Thank you.
In the spirit of risk management I'm not even going to comment.
(laughter)
Tony Clifford: Hello, I'm Tony Clifford.
I'm the CEO of Standard Solar.
We're located in Rockville, Maryland.
We're a developer and integrator of photovoltaic systems.
In terms of where we are in the echo system,
we're pretty well along now.
We just signed an agreement with a major utility to deliver
300-megawatts of PV over the next five years.
And one of the things I would just say at the front end is
that we consciously are designing all of these systems
to be less than 25-megawatts apiece and that's because we
don't want to deal with the FERC so that's one
thing that we're doing.
But this is my second go-round in photovoltaics.
When I was just out of business school in 1975 I worked for
Solarex Corporation which was then the leading developer of
photovoltaics in the world.
An American company also headquartered in Rockville.
Now it's BP Solar.
Now, back in those days the only game in town was pure silicon.
It was the Czochralski method, you know,
semiconductor grade silicon and that is what we
made solar cells out of.
And in those days they always talked about the promise of thin
film that was going to take over in PV applications.
There has been a lot of improvements in thin film, but,
you know, as a developer and integrator I am still using
crystalline silicon.
And the reason I'm using it is because if I want third party
financing I have got to use crystalline silicon.
I can't get it for thin films yet and when I look at this in
an evolutionary sense, I see that the technology has gone
from, you know, semiconductor grade to poly,
to lower levels of poly.
But right now there are two companies that are working on
metallurgical-grade silicon and if you know anything about
silicon, it's dirt.
It's only 98% pure.
But there's a Chinese company and there's a German company
that's working on this.
And I would like to ask Frank, Frank,
is there anybody in the United States that's working on
metallurgical grade silicon?
Because I see that as the next evolutionary step in my business
where I can drive costs down.
Frank Calzonette: We're working with -- we have this collaboration I mentioned
with Dow Corning and they have
Hemlock, they have polysilicon production --
Tony Clifford: I know they have poly.
Frank Calzonette: Yeah, I mean, that's --
Tony Clifford: I think metallurgical,
but what I worry about is somebody comes up and there are
two companies, Q cells in Germany and Canadian Solar,
which is a misnomer, they're a Chinese company,
they are the only people that are selling products now with
metallurgical-grade silicon.
They're less than 10% efficient, so they're not really a threat
to crystalline right now but I think that's an area -- and I
think overall I would like to see some government support of
how you wring the cost out of the current process because the
cost of photovoltaics have dropped quite a bit and the way
we were able to get this very large contract was a combination
of factors, but one of them was forward pricing and, you know,
pushing down our component suppliers.
But they can't do that forever without some assistance to
wring out more costs.
John Fernandez: All right.
We're going to run out of time here in a minute so we'll do two
more questions here.
Yes, sir.
Francis Hodsoll: My name is Francis Hodsoll.
I'm with Pace Global Energy Services.
And first, thank you for your time and efforts on this policy.
Two comments: One is on the global competitive issue.
Slightly different lens maybe on the discussion that's been
happening, which is I had the opportunity earlier this week to
meet with the delegation from South Korea the Daegu Free
Enterprise Zone.
This is an effort where they have committed about $60 billion
in capital to focus on clean energy technologies in Daegu
which I believe is the second largest city in South Korea.
And the thing that is striking to me about what they're trying
to do which is a little bit different than what we have been
talking about when it comes to the Chinese is they want to
partner with the U.S.
It's more about finding ways where they take their
manufacturing prowess and some of our capabilities and bring
these things together.
They also want to attract some American firms over there.
So it's, what struck me in the conversation that we've been
having to date is part of this is how do we create the
framework to compete globally but also how do we create the
framework to collaborate globally because I think there
needs to be a mix between those two things.
The other comment I wanted to make is I actually had the
opportunity to work with Tony Clifford on some projects.
And one of the things that as we all know many of the states have
taken the lead on renewable portfolio standards and creating
the framework for these projects,
but each of these states have their pluses and minuses in
terms of how these projects actually get developed and
contracted within that system.
I am going to give you a couple of examples.
I, the last couple of weeks I have spent a lot of time
answering 106 questions from the Delaware PSC about the
Dover Sun Park Project.
And serendipity, I had an eye appointment yesterday and the
doctor told me come back next week,
something is going on with your eyes.
I just couldn't help thinking it has got to be about
106 questions.
She really told me something is going on with your eyes;
you've got to come back next week.
But the point is we had a two-year competitive process
for the Dover Sun Park.
There has been a tremendous amount of analysis, and this is
sort of to a point Sorby made about development of
development risk.
And here at the end of the process the governor was
involved in a signing ceremony.
The PSC has decided that they need to, you know,
second guess everything, right?
And that's just sort of a shame.
And to cut to the chase, I think there is a role for the federal
government where it could convene a group of people from
these different states and say what works and what doesn't work
within these markets, because if they could start adopting best
practices, you would see tremendous growth in these
markets, I promise.
Maryland is a great example.
Right now only 50% of the requirements are being met
actually by solar.
The rest is being paid by compliance fee.
That's just a shame.
The ratepayer is paying a fee; it was to get solar built.
And they are paying the fee and they're not getting solar.
So the point is there would be some value I think and the
federal government could play this role of convening
legislators, other stakeholders to say what works,
what doesn't work within these markets and let's all move
towards a framework that works more effectively.
Thank you for your time.
John Fernandez: I used to have perfect vision, too, until I went to law school
and ended up having to get glasses.
Yes, sir?
Dan Kind: My name is Dan Kind.
I'm with INRI, or Independent Natural Resources, Inc.
I did get permission from my CEO over here to embarrass myself
here so I'm okay with this so I won't lose my job over it.
I want to talk first about energy savings.
I think everybody can use this.
I, long ago, decided to quit wasting energy on figuring out
if I was the smartest person in the room.
In this room it would be really hard to figure out
that you were there.
Instead I just like to be the best looking one in the room and
I think I'm on solid ground with that one.
(laughter)
Dan Kind: If I don't get there I go to the best looking one
in a wheelchair.
If I lose out at that, I go home.
(laughter)
Dan Kind: But I want to talk about,
we just -- our organization is in the same space, if you would,
as Burden.
We do wave energy.
We just got our permit from the Army Corps of Engineers for an
offshore platform on a piece of property we have been renting
for about eight months that is 25 feet under water.
The comment, a couple comments that I want to make with regard
to the Commerce Department and what we're doing,
if we want to take jobs away from China,
it's got to be revolutionary, not evolutionary.
It's got to be something new.
When you are talking about billions of people over there
with a cost of living that they have got and our jobs here being
what they are and what we have to pay or people here,
it's got to be new.
It cannot be a marginal improvement on an
old technology.
And that brings us to where we have come up against
government funding.
When you go to get government funding, we have not done it.
We have bumped up against it a number of times and said I'd
rather go find someone down the street,
an accredited investor who will give us some money,
because we are out there.
We're doing something that isn't being done.
When you go to the government, they want to know have you got
the engineering in place.
Have you got somebody who can tell you this is why
it's going to work?
This is why it's going to work.
If you're there, the Chinese would already have it or will
have it very briefly.
You have got to be different.
If your funding process requires traditional engineering to get
any help, you have already lost the battle.
That's my point.
William Trey Taylor: Let me just reinforce what you said.
Again looking for money from the private sector for /proctology/
development isn't going to happen.
It's got to be government support, technology development.
Once it's commercialized then private equity gets involved in
commercial projects, moving it forward.
It's just the reality of the times.
John Fernandez: Great.
Dan Kind: We've raised over $12 million from Angel Investments.
William Trey Travis: That's great.
That's wonderful.
Dan Kind: We'd still be asking for the first hour I think if we
went the other direction.
William Trey Travis: That's a great vote of confidence.
John Fernandez: Well, that's a nice segue as well to the next panel that's
going to be looking at and discussing the issues of
national leadership and competitiveness.
So again let me think the panelists for committing
their time today.
(applause)
John Fernandez: Thanks to all of you as well.
Thank you, very much.