Hamilton Project Roundtable: Investing in Clean Energy Innovation

This Hamilton Project Forum at Stanford University has substance and insights: New Directions for U.S. Energy Policy. There are also participants “talking their book”. One of the events was of particular interest “Investing in Clean Energy Innovation“, with this roundtable lineup:

Sally M. Benson
Director, Global Climate and Energy Project, Stanford University

Kenneth A. Hersh
Co-Founder and CEO, NGP Energy Capital Management

Vinod Khosla
Khosla Ventures
Former Chairman and CEO, Sun Microsystems

James E. Rogers
Chairman, President, and CEO, Duke Energy

Moderator: Hemant Taneja
Managing Director, General Catalyst Partners
Co-Founder, Advanced Energy Economy

Jim Rogers is a pithy commentator on the real world of electrical generation and distribution. Following some of Vinod Khosla’s remarks Rogers said “Vinod, I can’t let you get away with that!” then explained why.

The most outstanding participant was clearly Ken Hersh. An example will illustrate — Hersh listens patiently to the panel saying such as “wind is competitive now” and “solar will be grid competitive in just five more years” and Vinod opining that “five guys in five years will deliver more innovation” than partnerships like Benson’s Global Climate and Energy Project. Regarding subsidized wind generation, Hersh says (paraphrasing) “That wasn’t three guys in a garage. That was three guys and the US government! The moment the wind production tax credit lapsed the wind industry just went away”.

There is event audio and video available here.

There is a useful 2010 profile of Ken Hersh at the Dallas Morning News.