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MaRS Future of Energy Summit

MaRS Future of Energy Summit

Future360 headed to the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada, for the Future of Energy Summit. The Summit brought together policy-makers, business leaders, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders to discuss the next wave of energy generation, use and distribution. The summit also housed an innovation showcase to highlight some Ontario’s hottest energy start-ups.

Energy innovation has started to dominate the pipeline of new ventures coming into MaRS cleantech incubator. This is viewed as an opportunity to solve Ontario’s own grid and infrastructure problems, as well as an opportunity to generate some export revenue.

With renewables growing from 3% to 13% and deadline to stop using coal by 2014, Ontario’s policy makers are setting aggressive energy targets. And it’s paying off. The Green Energy Act has created 20,000 jobs and counting.

The big trends that emerged from the summit were in, energy storage, smart grid and, to a lesser extent, gamification, with companies like Hydrogenics, Enbridge and Virginia-based OPower making important headway in those respective areas.

The upshot? Ontario is doing a lot right, and the rest of the world can certainly learn from their experience.