March 1, 2010 - Monday
Igniting a Fire Under the Solar Industry - How solar is about to change your home, your family, and your lifestyle
In the 21st century, solar power has already become part of our daily lives. From solar heated swimming pools to solar powered homes, some examples already exist to show the useful application of the clean, safe, sustainable power of the sun. Yet many wonder if small applications will be all solar power is capable of handling. Certainly, the difficulties of large solar plants are many, although many experts continue to insist that the future of solar energy is quite sunny.
So the question remains - How do we ignite a fire under the solar industry?
According to some experts, the sun is our best source of renewable, clean energy. Some estimate that the sun can produce 10,000 times as much energy as the Earth uses at the turn of the 21st century. The future of solar energy depends mostly on how it is applied, rather than whether it would be enough energy to be a viable world power source.
The largest problem facing the future of solar energy is the space required to build solar power plants. A solar plant is comprised of thousands of solar panels, not unlike those currently installed on alternative energy homes. Because of this, solar plants require a consistently sunny area and a considerable amount of space. Currently, the one of the largest solar power stations in the world covers more than 10 square miles (16.9 km squared) and creates enough power to run about 200,000 homes. Some experts suggest that to provide power for the entire United States, an area approximately 100 miles (160.9 km) per side would be required, probably somewhere in the desert climate of the American Southwest.
In addition to building more and larger plants, the future of solar energy lies in the construction of new buildings and the retro-fitting of many older ones. As long as the trend toward alternative energy supplies continues, some experts predict that most, if not all, new buildings will have solar-energy panels installed on roofs. Since these are also easily installed, many older buildings may receive upgrades to run on solar power. Experts and environmentalists hope that green-energy building will be encouraged by world government through generous tax incentives and exemptions for alternative energy use.
One encouraging factor about the future of solar energy is that many of the world's greatest innovators are choosing to focus their considerable talent and funds on improving alternative energy technology. In 2006, the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) convened a group of brilliant scientists, engineers, and inventors to come up with a list of 14 science and technology challenges of the 21st century. One of the challenges is the task of making solar energy an economical solution to the growing power needs of the world. In addition to encouraging established scientists and engineers to invent solutions to this problem, the NAE sponsors competitions in high schools and colleges throughout the country, committed to finding the best future for solar energy from any source, whether from a recognized genius or budding science fanatic.
Join us as we take an in-depth look at how solar is about to change your home, your family, and your lifestyle.
EVENT: Night with a Futurist
DATE: March 1, 2010 - Monday
LOCATION: MADCAP Theater, 10679 Westminster Blvd, Westminster, CO 80020
DIRECTIONS: Driving Directions
COST: $0, Members: Free, SuperMembers: Free
TOPIC: Igniting a Fire Under the Solar Industry - How solar is about to change your home, your family, and your lifestyle
SPEAKERS: Blake Jones, Joy Milkowski, John Hereford, Karl Dakin, Steven Conger
SPEAKER: Blake Jones
President of Namaste Solar
Blake Jones is the President of Namaste Solar, a 100% employee-owned solar electric company based in Colorado. He began his career working as a civil engineer for Halliburton in the oil and gas industry, primarily in the Middle East. He then spent three years in Nepal implementing solar, wind, hydro, and electric vehicle technologies. In late 2004, he returned to the USA to co-found Namaste Solar which has installed over 1,000 solar systems throughout Colorado and was one of the fastest growing solar companies in the nation with a #56 ranking in the 2009 Inc 500. In February of 2009, Blake had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama before he signed the historic $787 billion stimulus bill – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) – and giving the President and Vice-President a personal tour of the rooftop solar electric system at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Blake holds a BE in Civil Engineering from Vanderbilt University and is certified in solar PV installation by NABCEP and CoSEIA.
MODERATOR: Joy Milkowski
Founder of Access Marketing Company
Joy Milkowski is the Founder of Access Marketing Company where she specializes in bringing search engine marketing and web marketing intelligence to her clients in a way they can understand and measure. She has over a decade of marketing, sales and professional copywriting experience in a variety of areas including tech, industrial, direct to consumer sales, commercial real estate ventures, professional and collegiate athletics and Internet-based marketing. In addition, Joy trains small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to leverage the power of search engines as an advertising tool to reach their audiences.
PANELIST: John Hereford
Managing Partner for Oak Leaf Energy Partners
John Hereford is the managing partner for Oak Leaf Energy Partners, a company founded in 2005 to provide project development and consulting services for renewable energy transactions. The company helps property owners deploy solar and other renewable energy derived power across their portfolio of buildings and properties.
Oak Leaf Energy Partners (“OEP”) provides full turnkey development solutions, including feasibility studies, site planning and interconnection analysis, tax and financial structuring and negotiating financing and EPC contracts. Since its founding, the Company has emerged as one
of the largest and most active solar energy developers in the Rocky Mountain West, with a growing regional and international footprint and pipeline.
Hereford’s background includes over 15 years of operating and transactional experience within the software and energy technologies sectors, both as an owner/operator and investment banker. From 2003-2005, he was a principal at Q Advisors, a middle market technology investment banking firm, where he focused on the IT Services and outsource technologies industries. From 2000-2003, Hereford was executive director of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, where he managed the largest land conservation funding source in the country, overseeing over $200 million in land conservation and real estate transactions. Prior to joining GOCO, he co-founded StartSmart, Inc, a Denver-based ASP software provider centered around the deregulating utility markets. Hereford was an appointee in the first Bush Administration, where he led project finance efforts for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation in the Middle East and North Africa.
Hereford is a graduate of Amherst College (magna cum laude) and hold degrees from Cambridge University (Masters International Relations) and Harvard Business School (MBA). He has been active in a number of civic and non-profit boards and commissions over the past 12 years. In addition to serving in a leadership position on the Board of The Nature Conservancy of Colorado, Hereford serves on the Denver Greenprint Council and the Denver Public Schools A+ Commission.
PANELIST: Karl Dakin
CEO of DaVinci Quest and Senior Fellow of the DaVinci Institute
Mr. Dakin is taking his talent for converting innovations into businesses and applying it to building experts – people with special knowledge. Over his career of 32 years in new business startups and new product development, he has repeatedly been recognized as expert on different technical, business and legal subjects. Working continuously on the bleeding edge of innovation, Mr. Dakin has continuously dealt with the need to verify and validate the credibility of ideas and the people who create and promote them.
Mr. Dakin shares his knowledge through extensive speaking, writing and teaching while constantly testing the latest and greatest forms of communication and education. He is an extraordinary communicator with expertise in collaboration, social enterprises, new product development and commercialization, early stage private equity funding, intellectual property management, and charitable community relations.
Through DaVinci Quest, Mr. Dakin is now launching the introduction of a new bundled service, Above the Crowd, to help individuals gain recognition for their expertise to generate more revenue, to enhance their careers and to advance their businesses and charitable causes.
PANELIST: Steven Conger
P4P Energy Founder, Chairman and Inventor
Steven Conger, P4P Energy Founder/ Chairman/Inventor. His first solar patent was submitted and issued in the late 1970s. Steven is one of America’s most noted architects and a leader in the field of sustainable design and building. He graduated from Yale Architecture School in 1979. Steven designed the first solar home to appear in Architectural Digest and subsequently was named in Architectural Digest’s guide to the top 100 architects of the world. He was the architect for the Rocky Mountain Institute in 1980, and John Denver’s Windstar Foundation in 1979. Steven was the architect and developer for the first “green” luxury hotel, The Inn of the Anasazi, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Additionally, his design of St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass CO won the prestigious AIA national award for religious architecture. Steven has worked for his entire professional career in developing sustainable systems to support people as he was directed to do by his mentor Buckminster Fuller.
6:30 - 7:00 - Registration and networking
7:00 - 7:15 - Announcements and introductions
7:15 - 8:00 - "Igniting a Fire Under the Solar Industry" - Blake Jones
8:00 - 8:45 - Panel discussion
8:45 - 9:00 - Networking
9:00 - Thank you for coming