Obama says there’s an energy revolution underway
While President Obama took the opportunity to unveil new federal actions to boost clean energy during a speech at a conference in Las Vegas on Monday, he also used the time to do something a little more inspirational and a little bit geeky.
Obama told the audience—filled with entrepreneurs, politicians and executives, many in the clean energy industry—that there’s “an American energy revolution” underway and that Americans are beginning to take control over their own energy use. This transformation represents the future of energy use in America, according to Obama.
Obama said this transition includes moving from using fossil fuel energy to using clean energy, and from managing energy with analog technologies to managing energy with digital tech. In addition, Obama referenced the introduction of energy storage technologies like batteries that can store energy to be used when needed.
Obama said the energy transformation is similar to if the telegraph evolved into the smartphone “in less than a decade.” “It’s happening that fast,” said Obama. Geeky energy technologies, like smart appliances and energy pricing data, and not oft-discussed energy programs like net metering and Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE), peppered his speech.
The language was meant in part to rally the crowd, but also showed how Obama is willing to embrace these types of niche energy technologies that are being developed by tech entrepreneurs and startup companies, many in Silicon Valley. Obama name-checked Valley darlings Nest and Tesla in his talk, and spoke about consumers using software to manage energy consumption, something only a handful of passionate energy nerds seem to truly care about.