Overview of WIREC 2008 (Part 1)
Back from the Washington International Renewable Energy Conferences, I will try to give you a summary of things seen and heard. It was a ministerial-level summit with a co-located trade show and a very complete program of conferences and side-events.
One conclusion would be that, far from a consensus, there are radically different views on what is going on. On one hand, you have people saying that all this hype won´t amount to much and that, like BP CEO Hayward said, renewable energies will not really make a dent in our energy mix at this rate, and others, like Vinod Khosla, arguing that the change is definitely coming and will be faster and deeper than what we realize.
I finally could attend the first plenary session of the event and, as I imagined, Khosla´s intervention, was the most interesting in the panel. Even though he had to rush, he expounded on how forecasts usually fail to predict accurately the extent and speed of the expansion of new technologies, mostly because of lack of imagination. His complete presentation may be viewed here.