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The 2012 Silicon Valley Energy Summit featured leading experts on energy policy and emerging technologies. Topics included popularizing electric vehicles, targeting clean-tech companies and achieving U.S. independence from foreign oil.


William Perry: U.S. has technology to break dependence on foreign oil within 10 years

The United States can and likely will greatly reduce its dependence on imported oil within 10 years, former Secretary of Defense William Perry said at SVES 2012. The reduction in oil consumption generally will benefit not only national security and the economy, but reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, said Perry, who chairs the U.S. Secretary of Energy’s advisory board currently. The reduction in consumption of foreign oil in the near term depends on continued advances in the technology and commercialization of electric cars, new types of biofuel, production of natural gas and nuclear power, he said.» More

To meet hype, electric car prices need to go lower, batteries longer, automotive executives agree

Electric vehicles have a long way to go if they are to meet the high expectations of environmentalists, some investors and the media,  according to several automotive industry executives speaking at  SVES 2012. Sticker prices must fall, batteries must last long enough for potential buyers to get home without recharging, and charging stations need to become as common as gas stations are today for electric cars to gain a major share of the market, said representatives of Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and consultancy Gartner. » More

Clean tech investors finding opportunities at nexus of energy and information technology

U.S. investors in clean energy technology are looking to make only modest financial commitments to startups currently, but they still expect nothing less than total passion from entrepreneurs. Most early-stage investing in clean tech today focuses on energy startups that leverage information technology not currently used in the energy sector, according to several fund managers who spoke at SVES 2012. The focus is due in part to a cautious U.S. investment environment, especially in clean tech, which has watched some big bets fail and seen government retrench support. » More