In late October, President Obama visited MIT (the astounding leading organization investing in green companies in Massachusetts) to encourage clean energy innovation across America. He reiterated the urgency to immediately address the doubling of global energy demands by 2050, stating that clean energy is the only avenue. Obama recognized the efforts of local politicians, especially Sen. John Kerry and Gov. Deval Patrick, in promoting climate bills.
On the heels of Obama’s speech, BusinessWire held a “GreenTech, CleanTech and Pitching New Energy Technologies” panel discussion today. The event highlighted a Q&A with top green technology and business influencers such as Andrew Brengle of KLD Research & Analytics; Jay Fitzgerald of The Boston Herald; Stephen Lacy of Renewable Energy World; and Curt Nickisch of WBUR radio. The panelists indirectly touched on President Obama’s points from two weeks ago, discussing the importance of green and sustainable technologies that tout efficiencies. With the rise of green IT in Massachusetts, the panelists underscored that it is a cutting edge field, and the state will be recognized as an R&D leader in the segment.
The Q&A covered the challenges and concerns with the U.S. suddenly focusing on this topic when other worldwide leaders made it a priority in the late 1990’s. While the U.S. government is only now beginning to address the need for clean technology, countries like Korea and China have put close to 90 percent of their recent economic stimulus packages toward green energy. This statement heightens the importance of the discussion the constant discussion in the industry – can we keep green manufacturing and cleantech jobs in the U.S.? Can the U.S. hold its own and drive innovation in green tech, while allowing the current energy efficient technologies to mature?
The number of messages and companies is growing by the day – but ultimately, it will be a test of time. In the meantime, we will see everything from biofuel companies to Nike sneakers to Clorox “greening” their mindset, catering to the universal buzz of the newer, “green” way of living. It will be an interesting market to follow over the next year and to witness which clean-tech startups emerge and separate themselves from the pack. Will it be wind? Water? Solar? Whatever it is – I can’t wait. This green stuff is the real talk of our future.