BOULDER – Colorado’s momentum as a leader in renewable energy and clean technology is in danger of losing steam because of national and in-state factors, according to a panel of industry experts.
At the Boulder County Business Report
CEO Roundtable yesterday, panelists warned that Colorado risks losing its status as one of the homes of the clean tech industry.
Hosted by Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman PC and Holland & Hart LLP at the former’s Boulder offices, the discussion raised the spectre of the US being surpassed by other nations in new technology investment focused on energy and clean tech.
In Colorado and nationally, a crossroads is approaching and no one is sure which path will be taken. While American companies are virtually unmatched at developing new technology, a lack of support from government and consumers is hurting growth, said the Roundtable participants.
Here are some key quotes from participants at the CEO Roundtable (click here
to read more)
”The U.S. is lagging behind almost all the industrial world and much of the world in general in deploying renewable energy. The dichotomy is we still lead the world in creating these industries,” said David Hiller, executive director of the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory, a partnership of the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
“We’re lacking a sense of urgency in the U.S.” said Sue Kunz, chief executive of BioVantage Resources Inc., a Golden-based company that is developing ways to use algae to turn wastewater into biofuels.
“We’re up against countries like Germany, Spain, province in Canada, with a clear policy and platform and direction,” said Scott Franklin of Lighthouse Solar. “I feel like we’re in feudal times with all the warlords fighting each other. We’re falling farther and farther behind the rest of the world because we’re spending time fighting about the wrong topics.”
At the state level, Xcel Energy’s decision to modify its Solar*Rewards rebate program was criticized, with solar industry experts at the roundtable suggesting that it would reduce the industry by up to a third.
Still, investors outside Colorado continue to think investing in companies located here is a good idea, and there are reasons for optimism, according to Kunz.