Top 5 Takeaways from CEBA Connect: Spring Summit 2024

The event highlighted how far we’ve come and what lies ahead over the next five years

This year’s CEBA Connect: Spring Summit was not only a premier convening for energy and sustainability professionals, but a celebration of CEBA’s five-year anniversary. Over the course of three days, nearly 800 industry professionals in our community discussed how to tackle the toughest challenges facing the energy sector and collaborated on how to best accelerate the transition to a clean, equitable, and sustainable future. To add to the excitement, CEBA welcomed our new CEO, Rich Powell, who opened the Summit by outlining his vision to take CEBA to new heights. 

Here are our top takeaways from our largest-ever Spring Summit.

1. Despite current grid roadblocks, the clean energy transition continues to gain momentum

Michael Terrell, Sr. Director for Energy and Climate at Google and CEBA Board Chair, reminded us that “10 years ago, there were only 10 customers transacting in large clean energy purchases to decarbonize the grid.” Today, more than 200 clean energy purchasers have collectively contracted for over 700 gigawatts (GW) of clean power. CEBA’s deal tracker expands on this trend; in 2023, 28 U.S. customers made their first-ever clean energy deals, and 12.9 GW of clean energy contracts were announced. The new clean energy capacity that corporate customers announced in 2023 brings the 10-year U.S. total to more than 77 GW. This trend was supported by the Inflation Reduction Act, which enabled the deployment of 280 clean energy projects across 44 states in its first year, representing $282 billion of investment.

2. Corporate action is incremental to progressing clean energy deployment 

CEBA has more than 400 members representing all aspects of the energy industry — and our members account for nearly 1/5 of Fortune 500 companies. Combined, CEBA’s members consume enough energy to rank among the top 25 countries globally in terms of energy consumption.

This makes it clear that those in the room at Summit are on the frontlines of the clean energy transition. A message heard throughout Summit was how the energy sector has grown massively — and “with a bigger sector comes bigger challenges.” Through Spring Summit we bring together the industry experts across the value chain who are best positioned to address these challenges and lay the foundation for a clean and just future for energy.

3. Historically excluded groups must be prioritized in local clean energy decisions and deployment 

The clean energy transition offers an opportunity to achieve a healthier future, but those in marginalized groups are less likely to reap the economic and public health benefits of clean energy and continue to face increased health risks and economic disadvantages from the power sector. 

At Summit, attendees had the opportunity to learn from leaders across this space who are engaging with their local communities to ensure the clean energy transition is inclusive and just. Organizations like ClearLoop and SAGE Development showcased their expertise in this area, highlighting how the world cannot meet net-zero ambitions without addressing global inequalities. 

CEBA Connect: Spring Summit demonstrated the work of non-profit, government, and corporate trailblazers in the industry working to include these communities in the clean energy transition by prioritizing economic empowerment, community engagement, and inclusive solutions. 

4. Clean energy procurement is complicated 

Although clean energy is booming, the event illuminated how the industry still faces major challenges that require complex solutions. Grid reliability, outdated infrastructure, environmental impacts, and energy regulation are all affecting an industry that’s experiencing a huge transformation. It has never been more important for industry professionals to gather and address these challenges head on and use their collective voice to make change.  

Although wind and solar projects continue to break ground, nearly 2,600 GW of generation and storage capacity are actively seeking grid interconnection, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In addition, we’re seeing unprecedented growth in energy demand across the county as data center power demand is poised to double by 2030. These challenges must be met with resolve from the energy industry and CEBA members to achieve global and national goals. 

5. Creative collaboration across industries can help to achieve a carbon-free future 

Collaboration is paramount in navigating the multifaceted challenges posed by the clean energy transition. It will take actors across the sector pushing to address these obstacles, but with great obstacles come great opportunities. Working together at CEBA Connect events allows our members to amplify their voices and ensure policies align with the goals of the transition, that technical solutions are implemented to modernize the grid, and communities are prioritized in the process. 

Those at Spring Summit saw what collaboration can achieve first-hand through a number of industries coming together for one goal: to create a carbon-free future. 

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Miss us already? Mark your calendar now!

We’re thrilled to be a strategic partner for VERGE 24, accelerating solutions to the most pressing challenges of our time in San Jose, CA, on October 29-31. By collaborating on the VERGE 24 Energy Track, we’re extending our knowledge and expertise to further the clean energy transition amongst new audiences. CEBA members can reserve complimentary exclusive passes now, email for more information.

Did you miss out on CEBA Connect: 2024 Spring Summit? Become a CEBA member today and never miss out on another collaborative community event.