Inside the Race to Reinvent the Global Energy-Innovation Economy

The world needs to slash greenhouse-gas emissions by 80% or more by mid-century to avoid the most dramatic impact of climate change. That'll be hard. It will require massive deployment of technologies that exist today - and the invention development and widespread deployment of transformational new technologies that have yet to be invented. Given how long it takes to develop and deploy these technologies, there is no time to waste: The world must create an unprecedented number of new clean energy startups in the next five to ten years. But a volatile boom-bust cycle has scared the traditional venture-capital investors our of the clean-energy space. The solution: completely re-invent the global energy innovation ecosystem. The former head of the Department of Energy's renewable-energy and energy-efficient shop provides an inside look at a strategy that just might work.

Hard Earth - talks by stanford graduate students exploring tough environmental dilemmas. A program of the Roble Living Laboratory for Sustainability at Stanford (ROLLSS).