One of the first tweets from this morning’s session of the National Clean Energy Summit (NCES) in Las Vegas proclaimed it the beginning of the “clean energy revolution.”

Though this is the second annual NCES, it does mark an important inauguration of sorts for both the clean energy movement and the cleantech industry. On the heels of Friday's news that the Dept. of Energy is now accepting applications for $3 billion in renewable energy grants for private companies, the nation's leading cleantech startups have leapt off the starting block and are racing towards dominion of what may soon become the largest industry on the planet -- clean energy. 

It’s hard to imagine that just 12 months ago when the first NCES was held, the Bush administration was still in power, the EPA was handing out bargain basement mining permits, and the idea of 20 percent renewables by 2020 would be shelved in the “fantasy” department.

But despite one of the worst recessions in U.S. history cleantech has continued to grow, even boom, and now with signs of economic recovery, a new clean energy bill, and a pro-environment, pro-union administration, clean energy has perhaps never seen brighter days.

A litany of A-listers in the clean energy movement — Bill Clinton, Steven Chu, Van Jones, Hilda Solis. Steven Chu, the Governator, Al Gore, Sen. Reid, T. Boone Pickens — have gathered in Las Vegas today to look back upon the past year and to look forward towards the rapidly approaching clean energy horizon.

Bill Clinton addressed the crowd and made a big point about the thoroughly non-sexy nature of this revolution. Nathan Schock tweeted a great Clinton quote: “The least sexy topic is where the most energy savings can be found.”

You can follow the whole day blow-by-blow using the #NCES09 Twitter hashtag. There is also live video on the NCES website.

Thumbnail tease photo: Photo Mojo/Flickr

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