Maine’s Energy & Environmental Sector Shines at 1st E2Tech Expo
Keynotes from Fortune 50 & Venture Capital Companies Discuss the Power of Technology in Combatting Climate Change, Fossil Fuel Dependence, and even World Hunger!
Almost 400 people attended the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine’s inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Speakers included experts from Maine and beyond, including nationally recognized specialists in their fields. Energy companies and utilities, environmental engineers and scientists, emerging entrepreneurs, innovators and designers, consultants, government officials, teachers and students, and non-profit organizations all attended to learn more about Maine’s fastest growing technology sector.
Highlights of the day included the following:
More than one-third of the food we produce each year is never eaten. We produce enough food to feed 10 billion people—everyone today and those expected by 2050. But more than 1 billion metric tons of food is lost or wasted, never making it from farm to our fork. Meanwhile, two billion people, many of them children under 5 years old, suffer from malnutrition. If food waste were a country by itself, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China and the United States. In a new book, “Food Foolish,” John Mandyck, Chief Sustainability Officer for United Technologies Corp. (UTC), makes the connection between food waste and climate change and how technology and public policy can have a dramatic impact on reducing hunger, malnutrition, poverty, political instability, water shortages, and carbon emissions. Mr. Mandyck shared this expertise as the E2Tech Expo’s lunchtime keynote.
Dan Goldman, co-founder of the Clean Energy Venture Group, has more than 25 years of energy industry experience in strategy, finance, project development, and early-stage venture investing. He is passionate about solving climate change, and strives to bring together investors, policy makers, and technology innovators to address issues of scale-up and commercialization. Goldman used his role as the E2Tech Expo morning keynote to cite long-term clean energy deployment trends as “pulling” investment for new technology innovations across the supply chain.
Cleantech is Maine’s fastest growing technology sector, with 31% growth from 2003 – 2010 and job gains of 12% in renewable energy since 2007. CleanEdge reports that since 2014, the state had the nation's second-highest jump in its national cleantech ranking. Bob Gould (Spinnaker Trust), David Littell (RAP), Matt Nelson (US Department of Energy), and Neil Veilleux (Meister Consultants Group) walked Expo attendees through cleantech economics, markets, technologies, and public policies driving the sector.
Our first-ever “E2Tech Talks” presented five stories from leaders in the local food and beverage movement, and how they’re powering the Maine economy with beer, lobster, year-round greenhouses, and even cow poop.
The audience witnessed a “fishbowl” discussion on using public policy to tap into Maine’s indigenous resources – wind, water, woods, and sun – to develop products and expertise demanded around the world. The “fish” included Tux Turkel, Reporter – Portland Press Herald; Representative Sara Gideon – Maine State Legislature; Joel Harrington – Central Maine Power; Sean Mahoney – Conservation Law Foundation; Jeremy Payne – Maine Renewable Energy Association; Michael Stoddard – Efficiency Maine Trust; and Jamie Py – Maine Energy Marketers Association.
Three workshops with Maine’s top government, business, educational, and non-profit leaders covered topics on sustainability in the supply chain; workforce and career development; and building Maine’s innovation and entrepreneurial community in the environmental technology sector.
“We’re thrilled with the turnout for E2Tech’s inaugural Expo,” exclaimed Bonnie Frye Hemphill, E2Tech’s Maine Innovation & Cleantech Connector. “These companies and organizations deserve to be recognized for their tremendous contributions to Maine’s energy, environmental, and food economies.” Executive Director Jeff Marks agrees, explaining, “The companies here today are combatting a variety of threats to the environment, the economy, and our energy security. From climate change to world hunger to water shortages, Maine has innovative businesses ready to take on these and other challenges.”
Numerous photos of the day can be found on E2Tech's Facebook page, and Expo speakers' presentations can be found on the event site here.