Future of energy: Tom Rand

Future of energy: Tom Rand

Note: This blog is part of a series of posts grouped broadly along our three key, strategic themes dealing with the future of work & learningenergy and health. As our society is disrupted by increased globalization and technological change, we believe that entrepreneurship is the key to leading this change and building a better future. A future that includes greater access to quality healthcare, better ways of working & learning, and cleaner, more efficient ways of powering our homes and cities. The quality of our future will be defined by our ability to innovate, to lead change rather than simply respond to it. This is the work we support at MaRS.

When it comes to energy, we need to replace resources before they become scarce. This is the fundamental challenge that Tom Rand and the rest of the MaRS Cleantech team are tackling as they look toward the future of the energy sector.

In this talk, Tom analyzes the debate between modern optimists and eco-pessimists:

  • The optimists argue that clean energy innovation will disrupt fossil fuel flow enough that it will allow us to mitigate climate change.
  • The eco-pessimists, however, argue that the threat of global warming is moving so quickly and significantly that this is the end of the road when it comes to economic growth.

The indisputable fact is that the clean energy sector exists and is growing rapidly. In 2013, $250 billion was spent on clean energy around the globe. In addition, public companies in the clean energy space are now up 50% in their capitalization. But where is the sector headed?

What does the future hold for the clean energy sector?

As Tom explains, MaRS Cleantech ventures are exploring and innovating within the solar, biofuel and energy storage spaces to accelerate the growth in this sector.

  • Sparq Systems: Sparq is the global leader in advanced photovoltaic micro invertors.
  • Morgan Solar: Morgan Solar produces solar power at five cents per kilowatt-hour and will be operating in the oil-rich Middle East.
  • Woodland Biofuels: Woodland’s operating plant has demonstrated the engineering, economics and technology behind producing ethanol from wood chips and agricultural waste. The company will be the lowest cost liquid fuel provider in North America, including the energy incumbents.
  • Hydrostor: Hydrostor has developed an innovative underwater energy storage system that converts electrical energy to compressed air.

Watch highlights from Tom’s talk below to learn more about the future of energy. Watch the full presentation here.