New Energy Finance Summit: The Results

A special publication documenting the 2008 New Energy Finance Summit.

FOREWORD BY MICHAEL LIEBREICH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Welcome to our special publication containing the findings and results of the New Energy Finance Summit and Awards Dinner on 28 and 29 February.

It was our first such event, and we were delighted with how it went. We hope you will find in the pages to follow a faithful and stimulating record of those two great days.

For me, trying to summarise, there were three main takeaways from the two days.

First, the event served to confirm the very real scale of the changes rippling through the energy sector as it transforms from high-carbon to low-carbon. As expected, these changes are not limited to the inclusion of a little wind power in the energy mix, or small amounts of heavily-subsidised solar power. We heard about a broad range of clean energy solutions at various stages of the drive to scale. We also heard how incumbent energy players, in oil, gas, coal and nuclear are changing in their own way, and how utilities are coming under pressure to respond to the new realities of diverse and distributed generation.

Second, I took away an impression of the daunting scale of the challenge. Yes, we have seen USD 300bn invested cumulatively in clean energy over the past three years, but that is a drop in the bucket compared to around USD 10 trillion which will be required between now and 2030 for the transformation of the world’s energy industry to continue along the path to a low-carbon future. Raising and deploying capital on this scale will not be straightforward. If the sheer scale is not enough, there are clearly some big speed bumps to be driven over en route: technological dead ends, boomlets and bustlets, legislative retreats, unanticipated consequences in the commodity markets, industrial bottlenecks, opposition from entrenched interests. There must be easier sectors in which to be an investor!

My third impression, however, is of the almost unlimited opportunities and the determination of individuals who are now looking to exploit them. The New Energy Finance Awards for 2007, announced at the dinner on 28 February, showed that it is the world’s biggest advisory and fund management firms, with a few notable newcomers, who are competing voraciously for deals in renewable energy and the carbon markets. We heard too, at breakfast on the second day, how it is the search for talent which is the biggest barrier to rapid growth of the sector.

And that comes down to you, the participants and contributors. I want to thank each of you – thought leaders, delegates and expert respondents – without whom the Summit could not have been what it was.

We have lots of ideas for how to improve and develop the Summit for 2009. Feel free to contact us at any time with suggestions. We look forward to seeing you next year!

To access the full results book please download the full report.

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