The theme for this year’s annual AREDAY Summit and Impact Film Festival is “Creating the New Hydrogen-Carbon Economy: The Politics of Change.” It will be held at the Viceroy Resort, 10 miles from Aspen. This speaker series has been convening since 2004 as one of the largest in-person brain trusts of the global renewable energy industry, attracting climate change decision-makers, change agents and thought leaders from diverse sectors.
AREI’s Founder, Chairman and CEO, Chip Comins, says he and AREI President Sally Ranney chose hydrogen as their focus because, “Hydrogen is the only energy source that will provide baseload power in a predictable, reliable, resilient and deliverable way at the required frequency now provided by coal, oil and gas.”
The demand for energy continues to grow, with analysts forecasting our energy demand in 2050 will be 30-40 percent higher than today, even if we become much more energy-efficient. Our fossil fuel dependency hasn’t changed in 35 years with only one-fifth of the world’s electricity being produced by renewable energy.The advent of5G will also significantly add to global energy demand.
“While there is no silver bullet, there is silver buckshot,” says Comins. “The answer is all of the renewable energy options working together and collaborating as strategic partnerships.”
Right now, only three of 26 low carbon innovation areas – solar PV/onshore wind, energy storage and electric vehicles are commercially competitive and on track to deliver their share of the climate objectives set out at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). “Hydrogen offers an elegant solution” to the environmental stress the planet is experiencing, says IEA.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Not only is it odorless and nontoxic, it also has the highest energy content of all fuels. It can be used to transport and store energy, which means its applications are numerous, from transportation and utilities to buildings and neighborhoods. But first, it must be “extracted” from diverse sources. The best way forward to do this is to separate hydrogen from water by one or more methods including electrolysis to make green hydrogen using some form of renewable energy.
The AREDAY Summit will feature 100 diverse speakers participating in dozens of panel discussions, armchair conversations, keynote addresses and top-level networking events. The purpose of the AREDAY Summit is to provide a platform for high level, cross-sector networking that results in investments, collaborations, strategic alliances and new initiatives.
AREI will also sponsor Impact Film, a solutions-oriented film festival designed to motivate the community to engage in climate change issues and protect the planet for future generations. The Hydrogen Age will be screened at the opening reception of the AREDAY Summit on August 14 at the Viceroy Resort. Interestingly, this Leonard Nimoy-narrated film kicked off the film festival in 2004, AREDAY’s first year of the Summit.