Energy Tech 2024 Lights a Spark

Energy Tech 2024 Lights a Spark

Together with the Dominion Energy Innovation Center (DEIC), Simple Thread hosted Virginia’s first annual Energy Tech conference.

The sold-out event attracted visionaries, industry leaders, and energy enthusiasts from every part of Virginia and beyond. Presenters shared insights on the challenges and latest advancements in energy technology, along with discussions on policy and emerging industry trends.

Listening to these experts, I became even more convinced that we all have a part to play in this. The question isn’t whether the energy industry will change; ambitious renewable energy goals coupled with soaring demand will require new solutions. Change is coming. The only question is whether we lead or follow, whether we use our combined talents to create innovative solutions or sit on the sidelines and hope others solve our problems for us.

I have a secret goal. I want Virginia to lead the revolution in shaping our sustainable future.

Doubling the capacity of the grid and meeting our clean energy goals requires the best ideas from everyone, especially if we want this transition to be affordable and accessible. I think those of us in the Mid-Atlantic are uniquely positioned to be the leaders our industry needs. Leading the world in solving a generation-defining problem is a lofty goal, but I truly believe we have all of the necessary ingredients: from our world-class higher education system, to industry-leading utilities, RTOs, co-ops, and renewable developers. We also have access to investment capital and policymakers, a large high-tech workforce, and the largest concentration of energy-intensive data centers in the world. This gives us a window into the challenges everyone will face eventually and the resources needed to start piloting solutions now.

We organized the Energy Tech conference because learning from and celebrating the achievements of innovators inspires us – and pushes all of us forward in our respective endeavors. And if we are to transform an entire industry, we must acknowledge that we can’t do it alone. Simple Thread certainly can’t do it alone. Even as large and respected an institution as Dominion Energy can’t do it alone. It will take all of us. So I think my favorite part of the conference (perhaps tied with the awards ceremony), was watching all of these amazing people connect with each other. That is how we lead, together.

I want to thank the sponsors for helping us make this event accessible to everyone. I want to thank all of the speakers and panelists who graciously shared their expertise. And I want to thank everyone who attended. Thank you for taking a chance on a first-year conference. Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out there. I had so many good conversations and witnessed so many more.

In the opening remarks, I challenged every attendee to have at least one meaningful conversation with someone they didn’t know when they woke up that morning. And amazingly, I think most people did. I could not have been happier with how it turned out.

Watching everyone interact and form connections made me believe my quixotic goal might not be so unrealistic after all.

If you had a good conversation, I’d love to hear about it in the comments section. If you’re reading this and want to be part of the conversation, I extend an open invitation to reach out to me personally, join our Energy Tech Meetup (next one on 6/13/24 in Richmond), or use this form to get notified when registration is open for Energy Tech 2025.

Thank you and see you next year!

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