The Death of ‘Alternative Energy’

By [email protected] Fifteen years ago, when I joined the early ranks of clean energy entrepreneurs, we were nearly dead in the water on climate. Oil was $15 per barrel, Al Gore’s groundbreaking movie An Inconvenient Truth hadn’t come out, and a solar panel was something that powered a calculator.

In 2005, I went to my first “alternative energy conference” in Aspen, Colorado. I was asked to speak at the event, and hadn’t paid much attention to the agenda. Upon arrival I found the audience consisted of coal, oil and gas executives.

It turns out that “alternatives” in the energy space in 2005 actually meant

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