Gathered for two days to share best practices and network, local and global business and government leaders tackled some of the most pressing energy issues at VerdeXchange 2012 in downtown Los Angeles. In its fifth year, the conference drew an executive-level audience of more than 500 industry leaders from various sectors of the green economy, along with government officials from the local, regional, and international levels, including Korea, China, Japan, Germany, Canada and Australia.
David Abel, chairman of VerdeXchange, Reheis-Boyd, president of Western States Petroleum Association, and Ron Nichols, general manager of LADWP, opened the conferences first plenary panel, Is Renewable Energy Beyond the Tipping Point? Forty-one expert panels followed over the two days. More than 140 speakers and panelists, including government officials, clean technology leaders, and procurers involved in energy efficiency, transmission, alternative-fueled vehicles, clean water, alternative fueled transportation, carbon trading, and green building, shared best practices and insights on the green economy marketplace.
The value of the VerdeXchange Green Marketmakers' conference is immeasurable for me, said Jonathan M. Weisgall, vice president of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company, who flew out from Washington, D.C., for the conference. Over just a couple of days I was able to meet and speak with top public and private sector leaders in the energy and renewables industries here and abroad.
Immediately after the news hit the wires, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company shared with conference attendees that the company had established a new business to support its move into the unregulated renewables market. MidAmerican Renewables, LLC will oversee wind, geothermal, solar, and hydro projects that produce energy to be sold in the renewables market, Weisgall said.
Additional conference highlights included a luncheon plenary on Californias cap and trade policy compared to Australia and the United States, which was moderated by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Mickey Kantor. The panelists were James Goldstene, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board; Robert Owen-Jones of Australias Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency; and Frank Harris, manager of Corporate Environmental Policy at Southern California Edison. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave the closing comments.
VerdeXchange 2012 brought together the brightest minds in the green economy from around the world to address challenges and identify viable solutions, Abel said. Given the changing political climate in the United States and the volatility of the global energy supply, coupled with increasing demand, its never been a more critical time to address the future of energy here and abroad.
This years sponsors included Shaw Group, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas (A Sempra Energy Utility), Metropolitan Water District, METRO, AQMD, Tierra Global Advisors, NRG evGO, and KOTRA (Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency).