Wednesday, February 18, 2016

Can the Clean Tech Revolution Save the Economy?

The 2016 stimulus bill just signed into law contains over $80 billion in energy spending. The President and administration are trumpeting the bill as a clean energy bill and, taken on its own, this would be the largest energy bill ever signed into law.

Much in the same way that the economy rode on the backs of the Silicon valley startups during the 90s, the administration is counting on some of those same entreprenuers, and countless others, to help revive the economy via clean tech; making their doubling-down gamble pay off in green.

The rapid infusion of capital and the imminent investment will surely provide a boost to clean tech reasearch and development. It remains to be seen if this is the impetus needed to kick start clean tech to heights not seen since the IT boom. A clean tech boom, in contrast to the IT boom that preceeded it, has the potential to be sustainable and game changing.

If just one to two clean tech ventures turn out to be the next "Google of Green", then the US might just be able to leverage the spin-off effects and regain economic superpower status. To make this happen, it would need to be a truly disruptive breakthrough that would transform the world economy.

The most obvious target for such a breakthrough is around energy. Specifically transportation. More specifically, battery technology to promote the widespread adoption and affordability of the plug-in hybrid vehicle.

There are hundreds of companies and research labs across the country that are chasing this dream. Perhaps a handfull of those are on the verge of a breakthrough that could change the world. Perhaps one will emerge with the golden ticket.

We can only hope and dream. For our children's sake. For their children's sake...

1 comment:

Randy C. said...

The US economy has a big hole in it, oil! Or economy runs on petroleum, without it we can't commute to work, our goods cant be shipped to market, many goods simply can not be manufactured etc. Over 60% of the oil we use comes from foreign sources. Whatever the price of the oil is we have to pay it.

Remember those high gas prices during the summer of 2008? Just 6 months later our economy was in a big down slide. If the oil prices didn't cause the collapse they sure as heck intensified it! As any money manager knows you can't keep throwing large amounts of money out the door. Eventually something has to give.

We have to make the "Clean Tech Revolution" work. So the US can be better insulated from the whims of the oil producers. At any time an oil exporter could decide not to sell the US any oil, Saudi Arabia did it in 1972, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened it last year. And yes, the "Clean Tech Revolution" will save the economy by plugging that big oil hole.