Cleantech Forum, San Francisco, January 23-25, 2017

CircuitMeter CEO participates in Cleantech Forum San Francisco – event recap from B. Paul Mertes.

This year’s Cleantech Forum in San Francisco, an annual gathering of the global cleantech innovation community, was particularly timely, given that it fell so closely on the heels of the inauguration of Donald Trump. The broad statements by Mr. Trump during the campaign denying that climate chanage is real, and that he would pull the United States out of the Paris Accord, gave the event an air of immediacy.

With private sector, public sector and NGO participation from around the world dedicated to seeing markets accelerate their adoption of carbon reduction technologies in full attendance, it was great to see all express concern about the loss of U.S. leadership at the national level, while at the same time vowing to press on regardless. John Chiang, California State Treasurer, gave a particularly rousing speech, stating unambiguously that California would stay the course in its commitment to implementing clean technologies. His delivery was inspiring as he discussed the many ways that California would work with jurisdictions across the country and around the world to find agreement on new standards to accelerate the adoption of cleantech, and create new financial instruments to finance the trillions of dollars of investment required.

Canada was well represented, and won broad recognition for the high proportion of Canadian companies making the Global Cleantech 100 List. As Canadians, we were well represented in the program as well. Frank Des Rosiers, Assistant Deputy Minister for Innovation and Energy Technology at Natural Resources Canada, reiterated our Federal Government’s commitment to a national policy on carbon and the Paris Accord, while explaining that the high percentage of exports that come from the cleantech sector promises to energize our economy and our employment, while also increasing our productivity and international competitiveness. Tom Rand, Managing Director for Arctern Ventures and CircuitMeter Director, delivered a high energy and passionate message arguing that while Canada doesn’t want to the United States to back off its commitments, Canada will proceed regardless and benefit from the advances in technology that will flow back to our economy.

The conference covered its normal broad range of technical and financial issues that continue to expand the realm of what we now regard as Cleantech. The forum was attended by 500+ of the most active early stage tech companies, major financial and technology companies that finance or help expand cleantech, and those in the public sector that help by setting policy. Given the concerns about the direction of the U.S. on the cleantech file, it was a great event for CircuitMeter to attend, as it provided a lot of reassurance about the progress being made around the world in bringing down prices, saving energy, and offsetting carbon, as we bring new, cleaner technologies to the market.