Panel – The resource and energy agenda: a growing competitive advantage for corporations and governments
Energy on the verge of transformation, say industry experts
In 2013, renewable energy accounted for more than 56% of new additions to global power capacity. This comes against a backdrop of growing concern over energy security and volatile prices, climate change regulation, a dissatisfied customer base, an aging and demoralized workforce in utility companies, and a struggle to recruit talent.
According to panelists, these factors mean the energy industry is on the verge of major transformation, with huge opportunities for those with the vision to help it change.
Corporations and governments need to respond, but policy-makers in developing countries, who offer subsidies to companies burning fossil fuels, face the added challenge of balancing the wealth and job creation so critical to their economies with clean energy targets.
The panel also suggested that more recent initiatives like shale gas fracking only offer a short-term fix. The real answer to the energy challenge lies in technology.
Global Leader, Global Cleantech Center
Gil oversees the strategic development, implementation and management of EY’s Global Cleantech Center around the world. Under his leadership, Cleantech has expanded significantly and helped EY to strengthen its global leadership position serving cleantech companies. Gil is also responsible for building and managing EY’s relationships with leading entrepreneurs, investors and other key stakeholders.
In his cleantech leadership role, Gil leads a global network of cleantech professionals around the globe. He also leads the development of cleantech-related research, thought leadership and strategic events as well as the global business relationships with Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Previously, Gil served as the Global Leader for EY’s Venture Capital Advisory Group and the Global IPO program. He also served as both the Global and the Americas Director of the Venture Capital Advisory Group.
Gil has an MBA, with Honors, in Marketing and Organizational Behavior and a BSc in Hospitality Management from Boston University.
Datuk Dr. Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria
Ministry Of International Trade and Industry (MITI)
Dr. Maria is the Secretary-General of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI). Prior to this appointment, she was the Deputy Secretary-General (Trade) of MITI, providing oversight for the formulation and implementation of Malaysia’s international trade policies and positions.
She began her career in the Administrative and Diplomatic Service and years later was seconded to the ASEAN Plant Quarantine and Training Centre as its Chief Administration and Procurement Officer.
Dr. Maria is a graduate of the University of Malaya with a BA (Hons) in English Literature. She received a diploma in Public Administration from the National Institute of Public Administration, Malaysia, and her MS (Counseling) from Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. She received her PhD from the University of Georgia.
VantagePoint Capital Partners
Stephan is currently the Managing Director of VantagePoint, a leading global investor in energy innovation and efficiency that has over $4 billion of committed capital. Stephan has spent more than 25 years in Silicon Valley working exclusively with technology-driven companies.
He joined VantagePoint in 1999 and has been an active participant in many cleantech advisory groups, including the American Council on Renewable Energy Leadership Council, the Center for American Progress Clean Tech Council and the University of Texas Energy Management and Innovation Center Advisory Board.
Stephan is a graduate of the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Architecture (BCP) and the UVA School of Law (JD). He proudly serves on the Board of the UVA’s School of Architecture Foundation.
Dr. Jeremy Leggett
Founder and Chairman, Solarcentury and SolarAid
Chairman, Carbon Tracker and Firefly Solar
Dr. Leggett is founder and Chairman of Solarcentury, the UK's fastest growing renewable energy company since 2000, and founder and Chairman of SolarAid, an African solar lighting charity. He is a green-energy entrepreneur and an accomplished author of The Carbon War, Half Gone and The Energy of Nations.
Dr. Leggett has been described by The Observer as “Britain’s most respected green energy boss.” He was the first Hillary Laureate for International Leadership in Climate Change, and a CNN Principal Voice. He chairs the financial sector think tank Carbon Tracker, and is a risk consultant to large corporations. He is a guest contributor to The Guardian and Financial Times, lectures on short courses in business and society at the universities of Cambridge and St. Gallen, and is an Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute.
James C. Davis
Smart Wire Grid
As CEO, Jim leads Smart Wire Grid, a San Francisco-based company that produces innovative technology solutions for the electric utility industry. In his current role, Jim presides over all aspects of designing and manufacturing the product and is responsible for ensuring that nearly all major utilities in the world leverage the capabilities of the distributed series reactor (DSR) to make their power grids more reliable and increase efficiency.
Before joining Smart Wire Grid, Jim built an energy solutions company into a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy service company. The company developed hundreds of sustainability projects that saved institutions and businesses more than US$1 billion in energy costs and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than three million metric tons. In 2004, he was recognized as the Northern California winner of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Award.
Jim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a major in marketing from The Ohio State University.