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Energy Innovation Summit: What Does the Future Hold for Alternative Energy?

March 6, 2012 15:10 by Bran

Advancements in alternative energy are made every day, and yet much of the world still relies on the burning of fossil fuels in order to create power.  But last week thousands of entrepreneurs, scholars and scientists met together to discuss the future of technologies that produce energy without the negative consequences of burning coal, oil and gas. 

The conference, known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) Energy Innovation Summit, was host to energy innovations that can only be described as remarkable.  According to, one such invention on display was presented by Sheetak, an Austin, Texas-based company: It "unveiled a new approach to cooling that fits the transformed workings of a compressor onto a circuitry board the size of a credit card."

Other impressive advancements on display included algae that can create hydrocarbons to be used as fuel and large-capacity lithium-ion batteries.

All in all, over 300 exhibitors showcased their ideas at a resort south of Washington.

But perhaps the most exciting aspect of the summit was its keynote speaker:  former President Bill Clinton. reports that "He lamented the loss of momentum behind dealing with climate change, but advised conference attendees not to resist new developments for conventional fuels."

What do you think?  Should companies continue to explore new forms of alternative energy, or should we look to cleaner ways to utilize natural gas?