A special publication documenting the 2010 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit and Awards Dinner, which took place in London from 17 to 19 March.
FOREWORD BY MICHAEL LIEBREICH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Our third annual event – the first since New Energy Finance became part of Bloomberg at the end of last year – brought together 400 thought leaders from the clean energy and carbon markets. They included investors, executives, policy-makers and regulators from every important clean energy location on the planet.
This was the “can do” Summit. Last year’s event, coinciding with the absolute low-point in the stock markets during the financial crisis, was dominated by debate between optimists and pessimists. This year saw the focus switch back to the mechanics of rolling out a broad range of low-carbon technologies. It was an opportunity to take stock after a turbulent few years, and in my keynote I highlighted the fact that the underlying economics and drivers of the industry remain very strong.
Although the policy environment might seem highly uncertain, investors at Summit 2010 were far less perturbed by the disappointment at Copenhagen in December 2009 than outside media would seem to think. Instead, participants told us how they are concentrating on taking advantage of incentives that are already in place for clean energy deployment around the world – whether for renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart grid or carbon capture.
One of the most memorable images from the Summit was the absence of an American participant in the opening panel on policy – the empty chair. The video conference of US policy-makers made up for it in terms of content and entertainment but, as so often in the climate debate, the Americans really should have showed up in person. By contrast, we heard a huge amount about the scale of activity in Asia, driving the region ahead of the Americas in terms of investment flows, and there were senior government and business participants at the Summit from Japan, Korea and China.
Finance is much harder to come by than during the go-go years of 2006 and 2007, but one of the themes that emerged strongly from the Summit was the creativity with which players are securing the funding they need – whether it is developers winning loan guarantees from the US government, utilities tapping the bond markets or sponsors dipping into the greatly increased lending of multinational institutions such as the European Investment Bank. This is something we had anticipated during last year’s Summit, and it is good to see.
Technological innovation was also back on the menu this year – whether it was the standing-room only electric vehicle breakfast (particularly notable since it took place early in the morning after the Awards Dinner), or the announcement of Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s first ever “New Energy Pioneers”, developing products ranging from carbon-absorbing cement to new gearbox technologies. We heard from nuclear technology developers working on stackable 45MW reactors, companies cracking the data challenges of the smart grid, and venture capitalists looking for opportunities to invest in funding rounds of increasing size and then make that $1bn exit.
Overall, the atmosphere was one of businesslike optimism. These were senior decision-makers, each one playing a significant role in the world’s long-term transition to lowcarbon energy, serious about the task, realistic about the art of the possible, and working hard to move forward. The Results Book aims to capture the spirit and wisdom of the thought leaders who took part in Summit 2010. It also honours the 2010 League Table award winners – investors and service providers who have kept the machine running during a difficult year. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit for 2011 is scheduled to take place in London next March.
We are very much looking forward to seeing you then!
Please download the full report for more detailed coverage on the 2012 Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit.