Green

Al Gore to keynote GreenBeat 2009, the must-attend conference on the Smart Grid

We are delighted to announce that Al Gore has agreed to deliver the keynote speech at our GreenBeat 2009 conference on the Smart Grid.

The Smart Grid refers to the more efficient electrical grid the U.S. will be building out over at least the next decade.

The former vice president and Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work on behalf of the environment will speak on the afternoon of Nov. 19.

GreenBeat 2009, which we’re announcing for the first time with this post, will be held in San Francisco beginning on the evening of Nov. 18th and last all day on the 19th.

Also speaking will be John Doerr (below), one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capitalists. Under his leadership, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed Google, Sun, Netscape, Amazon and more. He also pushed earlier than most to place big bets on green technology.

The Smart Grid is urgently needed. It will help lower carbon emissions as we deliver power to our businesses, homes and cars. The Smart Grid would finally allow us to be the good global citizens we need to be if we hope to demonstrate world leadership.

There are huge challenges to realizing this Smart Grid: Just as the government helped fund ARPANET (the forerunner to the internet), we need intelligent policy to support and accelerate development of the Smart Grid; and we need quick and resourceful entrepreneurs to keep the ideas flowing.

Already, there are huge incentives. The trillion dollar energy market holds endless potential for entrepreneurs with disruptive technologies. A vast amount of money is waiting to be made once the rules of the game are laid down, standards are enforced and new business models are discovered.

john-doerr-1We couldn’t be more excited to have Gore and Doerr speak at GreenBeat 2009. Gore has consistently been the fiercest and most forceful advocate of green policies in the U.S., and can be considered the father of the Smart Grid — advocating for it in meeting after meeting, and delivering a stirring Congressional testimony in 2007. Doerr, meanwhile is an advisor to President Obama on economic and climate issues (see his May memo). Two years ago, Doerr recruited Gore to be a partner at Kleiner.

Our conference also couldn’t come at a better time. Gore will have just published his next book, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, which addresses the Smart Grid and other important solutions. Two weeks after GreenBeat 2009, the world’s focus will shift to the Copenhagen conference (Dec. 6-18) to develop the next climate control protocol. The U.S. Department of Energy will still be distributing stimulus funds to utilities looking to roll out smart meters and other improvements. And we may be in the midst of a major national showdown on the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill in the Senate.

We looked around and found no seminal event focused on the Smart Grid. By hosting Gore at this time, and showcasing the most disruptive green technologies, GreenBeat 2009 is a way for Silicon Valley to assert its creative leadership.

GreenBeat 2009 will host all of the major players responsible for building out the Smart Grid — investors, entrepreneurs, utilities, regulators and communications companies. If  you have a stake in how the Smart Grid evolves, you should definitely attend. Book a ticket here, or find more information here.

If you’re a startup, or even a more mature company with disruptive technology you’d like to showcase at GreenBeat, please get in touch with us now.

If you’d like to sponsor the event, please contact Andie Rhyins here.

For a continuous stream of VentureBeat’s Smart Grid coverage and conference updates, follow us on Twitter at @greenbeat2009 and become a fan of the event on Facebook here.

[Photo credit: World Economic Forum]