Monday, March 30, 2009

Good news / bad news: More Federal $s into Energy

Funding renewable energy & energy efficiency is great. We've lacked it for a very long time. Obama's new "push" - though important - relies on the same mechanisms we're relied on for the past 30-odd years... without game-changing results. Again, funds are being put into labs... who's major metrics include: [1] # of patents and [2] requests for more research. Yes, more research is needed. So, this is the good news.

The bad news is - there is no "game-changing thinking" going on in Washington, D.C. This question is not being asked: "What else should we do to speed renewable & efficient energy (R&EE) technologies to market?" The speed-to-market has to do with acceleration, not more research. Without a change in thinking, we will not get a change in results.

What should change?

[1] Fund technology acceleration: NXergy would be a good place to start. So would Nth Power, Reference Capital, Pivotal Investments and Equilibrium Capital Group. All focused on speeding profitable R&EE technologies to market.

[2] Leverage the existing power-production industry: Incentivize utilities to be more efficient and produce more sustainable power by allowing them to keep most (OK, half?) of the savings they create as a result of THEIR research.

[3] Change thinking: Profits aren't bad... the notion that an entity HAS to be a non-profit to gain Federal funding is ridiculous. Profiting from going green makes all the sense in the world! Once business is on board, you'll see serious movement.

I have determined that through profit-focused clean-tech acceleration, jobs can be created for a fraction ($5,000 to $10,000 per job) of what is being proposed ($60,000 to $224,000 per job) for "bail out" funding.

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