About 700 people from industry, academia, and politics gathered in St. Paul today Tuesday to learn about the latest trends in renewable energy.
It was the sixth annual "E-3" conference on energy, the economy and the environment.
"I think people are very excited about the many opportunities for renewable energy, alternative energy, whichever term you prefer, and the opportunities are there, and the urgency to move there quickly is significant," said Dick Hemmingsen, director of the University of Minnesota's Initiative for Renewable Energy and the Environment, which organized the conference.
Hemmingsen says businesses in Minnesota are very interested in renewable energy.
"One of the things I'm very pleased about is looking at attendees and how many are from businesses, large and small, who are here to learn more about these renewable energy opportunities, I do think there's very much of a strong sense of participation in this new bio-economy and the other renewable energy sources that we'll be developing," he said.
Speakers stressed the need for a national policy on climate change, to provide clear ground rules for industry, and to encourage development of new technologies.