Be a Clean Energy Leader

National Clean Energy Summit 6.0: Energizing TomorrowWe recently survived the hottest June on record in Las Vegas, though five valley residents were not so fortunate as the heat wave turned deadly. My car’s thermometer, which has always been fairly accurate, registered an outside temperature of 121 degrees as I drove across town one day. It remained there for several miles before it slowly dropped back down, barely into the one-teens. It was still only June! I’ve been writing about the likely effects of climate change for years but the reality of the experience is deeply disconcerting. The severity of the fire on Mt. Charleston is another sign that our world is changing rapidly.

We need to get a handle on this issue and most of my columns focus on things we can do as homeowners to make a difference. I know that many of you share my concern and have taken steps to live lighter on the planet by reducing energy consumption and installing solar energy systems on your homes.  I applaud your efforts. Each of you is a leader so please keep up the good work!

While we do our part in the community, others are working in parallel to move things forward on the national and international stage. Thanks to the leadership of Senator Harry Reid, Las Vegas will again host the annual National Clean Energy Summit. This will be version 6.0 and is titled “Energizing Tomorrow.” Senator Reid brought the first summit to Las Vegas in 2008. Since then, our state has made major progress in the clean energy sector with ripple effects across the nation.

Nevada is now on track to shut down its remaining coal-fired power plants for good. Our state is becoming a clean-energy leader with large utility-scale projects gaining momentum along with rooftop solar as well. Mandalay Bay recently announced the planned installation of one of the largest rooftop solar photovoltaic arrays in the world at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las Vegas. It will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,000 homes.

On a national scale, the installed capacity of photovoltaic solar energy systems in 2012 was 80% higher than in 2011 and the utility-sector rate more than doubled. The annual capacity growth rate for photovoltaic capacity has now exceeded 40% for six straight years. It is no coincidence that the sixth National Clean Energy Summit will take place next month. These summits are helping to improve our world and if you want to be at the forefront of the clean-energy transformation that is sweeping the globe, there is no better opportunity.

You can join the thought-leaders on the cutting edge of clean-energy policy, manufacturing and implementation on Tuesday, August 13th at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Check out the National Clean Energy Summit 6.0: Energizing Tomorrow site to register or to learn more about the event and who will be presenting. The broad range of speakers includes Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

Panel discussions will feature policymakers and industry leaders presenting ideas and options for the estimated $2 trillion global clean energy market. The panel topics this year include Clean Energy Solutions in States, Breaking Through Gridlock on Energy Policy, 21st Century Energy Market, From Innovation to Deployment, and  Resilience to Extreme Weather.

That last topic will explore how clean energy and investment in our critical infrastructure can make communities more resilient to the growing incidence of extreme weather. I can’t think of a better idea than building greater resilience into our communities. We made it through June, but the ride ahead may be much more challenging. Perhaps the National Clean Energy Summit will provide the vision to help you become a clean-energy leader too. Don’t be shy, the world needs you!