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MIT Energy Conference 2009 briefing session & study session

Yesterday, We held
・Briefing session for the next MIT Energy Conference in 2010
・Lecture on the clean tech business in the U.S. /the world by Dr. Masahiro Sugiyama from Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry (電中研).

We thank Dr. Sugiyama for his keen lecture and participants for coming.


Below is the content of Dr. Sugiyama’s lecture:
Clean tech has become a huge business. Investment on clean tech (+ other resources such as water) has been increasing, and it surpassed that of IT and bio and some people predict a big revolution on clean tech. Not only the prediction, but already big changes have been observed. For example, a number of competent executives of top companies have changed their field to that of clean tech industry, such as Tesla motors and Better place. This is because energy industry is so gigantic that everyone hopes to replace their position. (For example, almost half of the Top 10 companies in terms of sales are dominated by energy companies such as Exxon Mobile, and Royal Dutch Shell.)

He also introduced us some frontier technologies of clean tech such as nanotechnology-assisted Li ion battery, cheap thin film solar cells that use CdTe, Plug-in EV sport car, solar cell system with mirrors that focus sunlight, etc.

However, Japan is out of the scheme of the revolution of clean tech. Currently, the centers of clean tech innovation are U.S., E.U., Israel and the some Asian countries follows. Among all, the U.S. is the frontier. (This is why opportunities such as MIT conference will be valuable.)

After the presentation we held a Q&A session. Major questions were those on prediction of green tech industry and on latest information on clean tech. For example, to the question “Will deflation of price of PV (Photovoltaic) solar cell take place?”, he answered, “Yes, but there will be some companies that survive by certain strategies. For example, Sharp has shifted their business model to the “system” of solar cells. Nobody knows which business model will succeed, but there will be some good strategies.”

Lastly, I introduce some information resources on clean tech that Dr. Sugiyama mentioned: Greentech media, clean tech group, technology review, earth 2tech, Greentech Inc, etc. Also, some books: “Hot, Flat, and Crouded” by Thomas Friedman, “Earth Sequel” by Krupp and Horn, etc. His massage was “We Japanese should not necessarily pursue foundation of venture, but we should keep up with the latest situation of clean tech and have business mind.” Why don’t we keep on studying it?