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Published on September 7th, 2009 | by Guest Contributor


Going Green West Conference Brings Together the Future of Clean Tech: An Interview with Ed Ring

Ed Ring, current greentech and politics editor at AlwaysOn Media, launched the “GoingGreen” conference series with AlwaysOn as a way to connect greentech entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.

“I don’t think anyone has a better lineup of conferences that brings together top equity investors and top entrepreneurs in every sector,” says Ring.

Photo Credit: pfalaTurning Money Into Environmental Innovation

Turning Money Into Environmental Innovation

AlwaysOn is an “insider’s network” that has been a leader and innovator in open media since 2003, pioneering much of what has become the norm in the online blogging and social media worlds. In their own words, their content focuses on “technology markets where innovation is disrupting behavior and creating new business opportunities.” Good stuff.

Coming up is their flagship event in San Francisco, Going Green West. They will recognize the Going Green 100, a list of the most exciting and promising greentech companies from around the country.

Ring is a lead judge in selecting the Going Green 100 and says:

“We mainly look for ‘Is what they are putting together going to change the game?’”

The 2009 overall winner is Bright Source Energy, a solar energy company based in Oakland, California.

I had the chance to catch Ring during the busy weeks leading up to the conference and ask a few questions about the state of greentech and the Going Green West conference.

Ring emphasized that the diversity of panels at Going Green West cover the entire spectrum of greentech and that sets the conference apart from others in the field.

I asked him about the issues surrounding the funding of greentech and how the climate change legislation could affect that. He says that the big issue with funding greentech is deciding when to do it in terms of the economic price- anoint project too early and you end up spending tens of billions of dollars on technologies that are obsolete by the time you are using them. Another big issue around cost, says Ring, is whether the end users of the electricity will be able to afford the energy.

Ring also says that there needs to be a balance between public and private cleantech innovation.

“It’s very important to keep a strong entrepreneurial community because no one can come up with all of the ideas.”

So what should we look for in clean tech over the next few years? What are the challenges and trends? According to Ring, energy storage, aquaculture and water treatment & purification.

“Energy storage is one of the biggest challenges yet. Someone who can deliver a safe, cheap way to store energy- we’re still not really there.”

Overall, Ring believes that greentech is the future and he will continue to work with the Going Green conference series, connecting entrepreneurs with investors and highlighting the newest and most promising in greentech through the Going Green 100 series. As he says,

“I have a lot of faith in innovation and technology.”

The AlwaysOn: Going Green Conference will promote all that is new in greentech in San Francisco from September 14-16, 2009.

Get the Green Living Ideas book in softcover or PDF for as low as $2.99!

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