Areday: Luminaries To Convene in Aspen for Global Energy Summit

by Lee Barken

American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) may be the one of the most influential energy events that you’ve never heard of.  Originally created in 2004 as a modest one-day showcase for renewable energy, AREDAY has blossomed into a 4-day summit meets energy-palooza with an environmental film festival twist. 

“This is a summit of doers,” said Chip Comins, founder and director of AREDAY.  “We’re going to focus on solutions.  How do we implement and scale the clean energy economy with innovations in finance and disruptive technologies.”

Himself a film maker, Comins produced the 2003 documentary “Wind Powering Native America” for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).  The film chronicled the installation of the first Native American utility scale wind turbine, and inspired Comins to create AREDAY.

AREDAY Allstars

The 2010 AREDAY summit, to be held August 19th-22nd in Aspen, Colorado, will include panels, keynotes and armchair conversations with luminaries such as Ted Turner, T. Boone Pickens, Thomas Friedman, James Cameron, Governor Bill Ritter, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Michael Bennet, General Wesley Clark (ret) and more. 

Each summit day is focused on a specific theme.  Thursday will be “Putting Carbon in Context”.  Friday will explore “Oil, Water, Energy and Climate”.  Saturday is titled “The New Clean Energy Economy”.  Sunday will engage “Collaboration, Messaging, Solutions, and Climate Literacy”.

In addition, each night will feature an environmental film screening, including 2 Oscar winning movies, with director remarks and post-film discussions.

Conservation Meets Finance

“We need people to understand how to lower their footprint and make money doing it.  Embrace the economics,” said Comins. 

“We know the next worldwide economy will be built on clean tech.  How do we implement it?  How do we scale it?  How do we get from here to there?  How do we join hands with China, India and the developing world?  We must take responsibility and lead the world in the application and implementation of the solutions.  AREDAY is designed to have that conversation.”

Stay tuned as I report more from this unique summit later in the month.

Lee Barken, CPA, LEED-AP is the IT practice leader at Haskell & White, LLP and serves on the board of directors of CleanTECH San Diego and the US Green Building Council, San Diego chapter.  Lee writes and speaks on the topics of carbon accounting, green building, renewable energy finance, IT audit compliance and wireless LAN technology.  He was a delegate at the COP15 climate conference in Copenhagen.  You can reach him at 858-350-4215 or

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