The Future of Solar Energy and the Role of American Leadership

March 20, 2018 - 3:45 pm

The Future of Solar Energy and the Role of American Leadership
Webcast Here

Opening remarks by:
David Livingston
Deputy Director for Climate & Advanced Energy, Global Energy Center
Atlantic Council
A conversation with:
Dr. Varun Sivaram
Philip D. Reed Fellow for Science and Technology
Council on Foreign Relations
Jigar Shah
Co-founder and President
Generate Capital, Inc.

Moderated by:
Ellen Scholl
Deputy Director, Global Energy Center
Atlantic Council

Please join the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. for a lively conversation on the future of solar energy and the role of American leadership.

Solar energy is at an inflection point. It is both the world’s cheapest and fastest-growing power source, but also faces a number of growing challenges, from the resurgence of trade protectionism to the complexities of grid-integration around the world. Some believe that a dominant future for solar energy is right around the corner, while others argue that solar's promise will only be fully harvested by future innovations, in the same way that shale production techniques have up-ended the oil and gas sector. Please join the Atlantic Council for a wide-ranging conversation on the future of solar and the role of American leadership and innovation, featuring Jigar Shah, one of the world's most famous solar entrepreneurs, and Varun Sivaram, whose new book Taming the Sun questions much of the conventional wisdom around solar's future.  

A networking reception will follow the event.

On Twitter? Follow @ACGlobalEnergy and use #ACEnergy

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info 


David Livingston is deputy director, climate and advanced energy, of the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Center.
He is also a fellow of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy at Johns Hopkins University, and teaches a course on energy for the University of Southern California (USC) program in Washington, DC.
Previously, Livingston served as a fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and as the inaugural Robert S. Strauss fellow for geoeconomics at the Office of the US Trade Representative, where he concluded as acting assistant US trade representative for congressional affairs.
He also has worked at the World Trade Organization in Geneva and at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Vienna.
Livingston was selected as a Future Energy Leader by the World Energy Council, is an alumnus of the Atlantik Brücke Young Leaders Program, and serves on the advisory board of South by Southwest (SXSW) Cities and a number of social enterprise start-ups.
He earned a BA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and an MSc with distinction from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.
Ellen Scholl is a deputy director at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center. Ellen has worked on a range of energy issues throughout her career, most recently as Robert Bosch fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) and the Federation of German Industries (BDI). She also has over five years of energy-related legislative experience, having handled an energy portfolio as committee staff for the US Congress and Texas Senate. Her work on energy and geopolitics and energy governance has been published by SWP, and other work has appeared in the Berlin Policy Journal, Foreign Policy, and Lawfare, among others.
Ellen also worked on energy issues as a student fellow with the Robert S. Strauss Center on International Security and Law, and as a member of the inaugural cohort of the US Foreign Service Internship Program, during which she worked in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and at US Embassy Ankara. Ellen received her master’s degree in global policy studies, with a certificate in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she was a Powers fellow. She earned a BA in humanities and government from the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with highest honors.
Jigar Shah is the president and co-founder of Generate Capital. Jigar was the founder and chief executive officer of SunEdison, where he pioneered “no money down solar” and unlocked a multi-billion-dollar solar market, creating the largest solar services company worldwide. After SunEdison, Jigar served as the founding chief executive officer of the Carbon War Room, a global non-profit founded by Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to help entrepreneurs address climate change. Jigar sees business model innovation as a leveraged tool for driving the next productivity revolution–resource efficiency. He is committed to helping entrepreneurs and large companies alike implement resource efficiency solutions using “no money down” project finance models. In 2013, Jigar authored Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy. He holds an MBA from The University of Maryland and BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He sits on the boards of sPower and the Rocky Mountain Institute.
Varun Sivaram is the Philip D. Reed fellow for science and technology at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, a nonresident fellow at the Columbia University Center for Global Energy Policy, and a member of the advisory boards for the Stanford University Woods Institute for the Environment and Precourt Institute for Energy. Sivaram previously served as strategic advisor to the office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Reforming the Energy Vision, and was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he counseled Fortune 500 companies on adapting to the modern competitive landscape in energy. Prior to this role, he served as senior advisor for energy and water policy to the mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, and oversaw the city’s Department of Water and Power. He is the author Taming the Sun (MIT Press, 2018). A Truman and a Rhodes scholar, he holds degrees from Stanford University in engineering physics and international relations, with honors in international security, and a PhD in condensed matter physics from St. John’s College, Oxford University, where he developed third-generation solar photovoltaic coatings for building-integrated applications.