Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011...12:58 pm

Panel Discussion: Denmark–From Foreign Oil Dependency to Clean Energy Leadership

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When: March 10, 6:30pm-7:30pm

Where: Irvine Auditorium

Panel Title: Denmark–From Foreign Oil Dependency to Clean Energy Leadership

Being 100% dependent on foreign oil, the oil crisis in 1973 had a profound impact on Denmark and inspired the Danes to rethink their energy supply and develop domestic climate friendly technology and systems. Today, Denmark is the most energy efficient country in Europe and gross energy consumption has remained constant for three decades while the country experienced a economic growth of more than 100% over that time. Denmark is now 100% independent of foreign oil, but it does not stop here! The government of Denmark has set the goal to be 100% independent of fossil fuels entirely by 2050 and needless to say significant changes should be implemented to get there. Alex Portilla and Anita Kjoller Nielsen of Innovation Center Denmark and Invest in Denmark in Silicon Valley will talk about how Denmark as a small country has pulled itself out of the situation of foreign oil dependency and into a worldwide leadership role in clean energy. What were the major milestones, successes, lessons learned and how can California and Denmark learn from each other?


Alex Portilla, Account & Project Manager, Cleantech, Innovation Center Denmark

At the Innovation Center Denmark in Palo Alto, Alex works with early stage Danish companies in the Clean Technology sector to facilitate their entry into Silicon Valley, and communicates new trends and developments within these sectors between Silicon Valley and Denmark. Prior to joining Innovation Center Denmark, Alex was the Commercial Director and a Partner in the Brooklyn, NY based Interrupcion* Fair Trade where he worked to commercialize fair trade certified food products from Argentina in the US. Alex received his Bachelor’s in International Business and Management and Organizational Behavior from the Stern School of Business at New York University. He also studied Economics at the University of Amsterdam as an exchange student.

Anita Kjoller Nielsen, Investment Manager, Cleantech, Invest in Denmark

Anita is responsible for advising US companies with regards to expansion into Europe and evaluation of Denmark as a possible location for establishing their business. With the goal of creating knowledge intensive jobs in Denmark and strengthening technology clusters in both Denmark and US, Anita’s main focus includes areas such as electrical vehicles, wind power, smart grid, energy efficiency, solar energy, bio-energy, hydrogen, and Green IT. Anita has spent 10+ years in the Silicon Valley high tech industry in various international marketing, sales and business development roles at both small startups and large corporations such as Cisco Systems. Anita received her Master’s in International Business from the University of Southern Denmark while working as Assistant Trade Commissioner at the Danish Consulate General in Toronto, 1998.

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