CleanTech Kingpins

Cleantech Kingpins is a local, regular event hosted in Boston and other US cities that brings together local experts to answer a specific question about the adoption of clean technologies.

The goal of Kingpins is to

  1. Provide a place for young, cleantech professionals to meet each other and learn from current experts.
  2. Highlight innovated companies.
  3. Share what’s happening on the front lines with the media and community.

Below see the video and posts from all previous Cleantech Kingpins events. Enjoy!

January 19th, 2011

In the Energy Wars, We All (Can) Win


There’s been a lot of freaking out lately about China and energy – although Europe is still far ahead of us here in North America. We can spend time freaking out or we can address the elephant in the room, how do we get OUR ducks in a row. We’ve made some serious progress in both technology development and deployment in the last 5 years, but there’s still a long way to go.

On September 30th, Green Light Distrikt held our 3rd Cleantech Kingpins speaker series. We asked a series of speakers with various backgrounds – private industry, non-profit, research, government, and media – to address the question: “Where are we and how do we increase US investment in cleantech?”

Steve Minnihan, a cleantech research associate at Lux Research had some very interesting information and conclusions based on his research on the solar, smart grid, and transportation space. (See Steve’s full 12 minute presentation and slides at the bottom of the post)

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November 16th, 2010

“The Business Community is in Agreement, We Need a Price on Carbon” (VIDEO)


Last month, Green Light Distrikt Boston held our third Cleantech Kingpins speakers series, where we gather local experts to answer a single question facing our industry. The first speaker, Mitch Tyson came up and gave a blunt, fiery and amazing speech – see the full  video at the bottom of the post – that solidly, unequivocally stated that the business community is in complete agreement with each other, we need a price on carbon.

While some in the public see a price on carbon as some sort of tax, our business leaders see it as an opportunity to unleash huge amounts of innovation, job creation, and exports that can fuel our country. It’s all about how you frame the issue.

Mitch Tyson is the former CEO and current Chairmen of Advanced Electron Beams and Co-Founder of the New England Clean Energy Council, is a member of the Progressive Business Leaders Network, and heads the energy council of the Mass High Tech. Mitch is a clear cleantech leaders, both in the region and the country.

All the presenter were asked to answer two questions

  1. Why is the US not investing enough in cleantech?
  2. What are 3 specific things we need to do to reverse this trend?

Everyone loved the speech and Mitch has some amazing answer to the two questions posed to him that are summarized below.

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September 9th, 2010

EVENT: Save the World or Beat China? How to Increase Cleantech Adoption in the US


renewable energy adoption curveA couple months ago, I was listening to Stephen Lacey’s podcast Inside Renewable Energy. The show was called ‘The Next Great Global Industry’. I listened to the round-table discussion that featured experts from the around the world discussing what’s happening in their region in cleantech. While doing so, it became very clear that the US is falling behind in cleantech investment across the board by almost every metric; R+D, installed capacity, manufacturing, etc. All this talk and a small bit of research got me really wondering ‘What are  we (citizens of the United States of America) doing wrong and what do we need to do to increase cleantech investment?’ So, I’ve decided to host an event, called Save the World or Beat China: How to Sell Cleantech Investment to the US?, inviting 5 Boston experts to help answer this question.

I did a quick survey of the blog o’sphere and other traditional new sources to find the answer myself. The same conclusions kept popping up, but none yielded any actual answers. See for yourself; China Cleantech Spending Blows past the United States, Rising Tigers Sleeping Giants, Corporate Investors Open Wallets for Greenteh, 10 Reasons China will be a Cleantech Leader, China’s Cleantech Boom, China Cleantech: First Wind and Solar, Now Cars, China Stops Loans to Environmentally Unfriendly Firms, and China Leads the World in Clean Energy Investment.

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August 25th, 2010

6 Reasons the High ROI of Energy Efficiency Doesn’t Matter


All I can say is “Energy Efficiency: Why is the Low Hanging Fruit so High?” the second event hosted by Green Light Distrikt Boston in our Cleantech Kingpins series was a HUGE success. It was completely packed, it was fun, and we learned a ton. Boston insider Aaron Lindenbaum wrote a great follow up about his take on how to make energy efficiency (EE) sexy and Brian Hayden wrote an awesome piece about how the event inspired him to take action in his home and what he learned.

A huge thank you to all the speakers, everyone did an amazing job, and Alex from Wattzy who helped me find everyone. Another shout out to NEXUS for hosting us. The NEXUS Green Building Resource Center is the Mecca of green building in Boston and probably the country, in short, they’re awesome. A third thank you to everyone who came, watched, asked questions and joined in on the conversation at the end. I had a great time meeting you and can’t wait to see guys more in the future.

Here’s the little agenda for post

1) Presentations: Below are both the presentation videos and slides. Note, I’m couldn’t upload Lilah Glick’s presentation from the Cambridge Energy Alliance and I didn’t get Alex’s presentation on video.

Here are the speakers:

  1. Alex Patriquin – Founder, CEO at Wattzy
  2. Martin Flusberg – Founder, CEO at Powerhouse Dynamics
  3. Lilah Glick – Director, Community Outreach at Cambridge Energy Alliance
  4. Brenden Endicott – Senior Manager, Energy Markets at EnerNOC
  5. Geoff Chapin – Founder, CEO at Next Step Living

2) Problem with Energy Efficiency Adoption: The speakers addressed 6 main issues that I’ll summarize that explain why energy efficiency adoption is NOT happening.

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August 12th, 2010

Home Energy Efficiency: The Bitter Taste of Low Hanging Fruit


I love running a business for contractors and building practitioners because I’m awed by what they do.  It’s like magic to me.  Have you ever tried to do a home improvement project for yourself?  Unless you have the training and experience, it takes forever – you’ve got to be really motivated.  It turns out the ‘low hanging fruit’ of energy efficiency is much the same story.

Inspired by the eloquent presenters at the GLD Cleantech Kingpins event on July 22nd, I decided to implement some much-needed energy efficiency measures on my own house.   First I invited my neighbor, a BPI certified auditor, to come over with his blower door and duct blaster to find the issues.  We discovered my house has a decent envelope but leaky ducts.  So air sealing and insulating the ductwork was job #1.  Seemed simple enough. + Continue Reading