What I Said in Denver

The following is the text of a speech given Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention by Nancy Floyd, founder and managing director of energy-focused VC firm Nth Power:

Good evening!

Ever since I graduated college, I’ve worked in one way or another on renewable energy, trying to find cleaner, cheaper ways to power everything from our cars to our homes to our entire economy. I’ve worn a tool belt, put on rattlesnake guards, gotten my hands dirty, while I literally helped build some of the very first wind farms in the country.

And now my partners and I at Nth Power work with energy entrepreneurs, helping to bring their ideas to market.

I graduated college 32 years ago when the entire nation was focused on “the energy crisis.” Three decades have passed, and where are we now? The costs of filling up our tanks or cooling our homes are going through the roof. Our climate is warming. And our reliance on foreign oil has never been greater. Here we are again back in yet another energy crisis.

I can tell you that there are thousands of entrepreneurs, from Portland, Ore., to Pittsburgh, Pa., with new solutions. Investors are lining up to back them. What’s missing is leadership from Washington. We can’t afford another 30 years of partisanship and inaction. We need new thinking and new leadership. We need Barack Obama as president of the United States.

What’s at stake is not just our national security. Not just the future of our planet. What’s at stake is whether or not the United States will lead the creation of an industry of historic proportions that will create millions of new, high-paying jobs.

Let me put it this way. Green technology is where the computer industry was in 1984, the year the Macintosh computer was introduced. Think about how far we’ve come since then. That’s how far-reaching and how transformational green technology will be. Thousands of new companies. Millions of new jobs. In fact, investments in wind and solar technologies have already created 2.4 million jobs.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that less than 10 percent of them are here in the United States. That’s because other countries have smart, stable, forward-looking energy policies. So American companies that are working on wind, solar and the next generation of biofuels are selling, and now manufacturing, their products in places like Germany, Spain and China. That’s lost jobs here at home. And the loss of one of the biggest economic opportunities to ever come our way.

It’s time for a change. Barack Obama has a comprehensive energy plan that will get us off of foreign oil, stop global warming, and create millions of new jobs in the United States. I’ve read it, and you should read it too at www.barackobama.com. And what you will see is that Barack Obama is not proposing the same old, tired answers. He’s offering the change we so urgently need.

He will cut taxes for families who buy fuel-efficient cars and trucks, and make sure that those cars are being built by American autoworkers. He will make an unprecedented investment in green technologies, and that will create 5 million new jobs over the next decade.

I know, to some, it may sound a little pie-in-the-sky. But I’m sure a lot of people said that about the home computer and the Internet. The truth is: America can do it. With the right leadership, we can seize this moment. And with Barack Obama as president, we can set our economy on a course for growth and widespread prosperity.

Thank you.

Ms. Floyd has led Nth Power’s investments in Silicon Energy (Nasdaq: ITRI), Northern Power (Nasdaq: DESC), Smartsynch, Serveron, SpectraSensors and Propel Biofuels. In addition to these Boards, Ms. Floyd sits on the boards of ACORE (American Council on Renewable Energy) and the Center for Resource Solutions. She has been an advisor to the National Renewable Energy Lab, was a board member of Sustainable Asset Management in Zurich, Switzerland and is an active member of E2. She also helped organize the Northwest Business Leaders for Clean Energy campaign and was also appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to serve on the Oregon Economic and Community Development Commission.