Energy and power company leaders meet in Chicago to call for a clean energy surge

By Puja Bhattacharjee

It’s time. Energy leaders are calling for a shift to renewable power sources to meet future needs for utility companies, including for Commonwealth Edison Co.

“How do you take the systems we have built into smart systems and turn it clean?” asked Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. You build up solar and wind, she said, a point echoed by other utility leaders and energy experts at the recent conference Empowering Companies & Cities. The Energy Times, an online magazine and newsletter covering electric power and utilities, organized the conference.

The clean energy transformation should start now, said Jeremy Rifkin, an economic and energy advisor to the European Union. “The next big bubble, I’m gonna tell you, [will be] the stranded assets in the fossil fuel industry and it is going to make the subprime [financial crisis] look like a tiny little startup game,” Rifkin said.

Energy and power company leaders gathered in Chicago called for a shift to alternative energy sources.