Echoes of the Forum

Key takeaways

Collaboration enables clean energy tech innovation
Technologies are not developed in isolation; collaboration between solution providers, research, and system integrators and adopters, is key to the development and deployment of new solutions. Digital technology advancements are supporting cleaner energy developments by accelerating a shift away from incumbent systems, business models, and technologies. For example, blockchain technology can provide a universally accessible tracking and payment system that can handle the increased number of transactions that result from decentralized electricity generation and consumption.   

Transformation requires large capital investments
The transformation to a clean energy economy requires large capital investments to update and replace existing infrastructure. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that approximately “USD 3.5 trillion in energy sector investments would be required on average each year between 2016 and 2050, compared to USD 1.8 trillion in 2015” for the world to meet the below 2-degree warming goal agreed to in the Paris Agreement (source:  The IEA). 

Governments have a critical role to play to enable the required capital investment
When the policy objectives, framework, and timelines associated with the transition to clean energy are clear, investors are more likely to pursue low-carbon projects, and businesses can work towards the transition swiftly and intentionally.

The scope of STEM education is currently fairly limited
There’s more to Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) and cleantech than engineering jobs. For the sector to grow, cleantech companies also need to fill gaps in software engineering, market discovery, and business development, in addition to HR and finance.

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February 27 - 28, 2019

Spring 2020

Energy and Technology 

The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres, has called climate change “the most systemic threat to humankind.” It also represents an enormous economic opportunity, as governments and countries look for solutions to drive down their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Clean energy technologies are at the heart of this economic transformation, offering the potential to reduce costs and replace higher-emission energy sources.

In the “Energy and Technology” track at 
GLOBE Forum 2018, we discussed the technological, financial, political, social, and economic changes that will accelerate a clean energy future.

Here you will find:

Key takeaways  

Full session videos   

4 ways to accelerate the clean energy economy

A closer look: Case studies, speaker interviews, and more

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4 ways to accelerate the  clean energy economy  

Utilities should partner with tech firms to pilot emerging clean energy technologies
Energy system policies and infrastructure often need to change to embrace new technologies. Incumbent energy players can play a key role in testing new solutions by collaborating with utilities on innovative pilot projects. Validating the performance of a technology in real-life operating facilities can help to overcome the legal and regulatory barriers to new technology adoption that exist in the energy generation and distribution sector.

Government needs to provide stable, long-term policy
Building infrastructure is a marathon, not a sprint. Long-term policy signals are required to successfully facilitate clean energy projects. They send market demand signals to developers, and provide scope for returns on investment to capital providers.

The transportation sector must think beyond the consumer vehicle
Consumer vehicles are the current poster child of electric transportation. However, clean electricity can be expanded in the transportation sector by electrifying public transportation and modes such as rail, freight, and other critical transportation needs. To enable this transition, increased low-carbon power generation and large-scale energy storage will be needed.

Academic institutions should incorporate STEM into interdisciplinary education
The variety of skills needed to advance clean energy solutions – engineering, advanced materials science, bio mimicry, software development, digital solutions, artificial intelligence, machine learning, financing etc. – should be incorporated into interdisciplinary education. This will ensure clean energy deployment can be fueled with an available work force, including women and other underrepresented groups.   





Session videos

The only place to enjoy full-length videos of our conference sessions.       

László Varró, International Energy Agency

Ethan Zindler, Bloomberg New Energy Finance

Boris von Bormann, formerly of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas

Boris von Bormann, formerly of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, Tzeporah Berman, York University, Melina Laboucan-Massimo, Lubicon Solar, David Suzuki Foundation, László Varró, International Energy Agency, John Ortiz, HP - (left to right)

“We will move to a low-carbon economy by default or design, and I think we should do it by design.” 

Tzeporah Berman, Adjunct Professor, York University

"Building infrastructure is a marathon, not a sprint."

Honourable Sergio Marchi, President and CEO, Canadian Electricity Association

A closer look

Take a deeper dive into the conversations that took place at GLOBE Forum.

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Artificial intelligence: The power is in the data – An interview with Milind Tambe

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“If we stay in the political and technological comfort zone, we’ll miss climate stabilization big time.”

László Varró, Chief Economist, International Energy Agency

Heard at GLOBE Forum

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