Everybody is talking about “green energy” these days. It seems, anywhere in the world, the “green movement” has taken hold of individuals, companies and organizations. Individuals are making efforts to shift some of their consumption to renewable energy sources, companies are eagerly trying to develop or employ innovative clean technology and organizations are lobbying the green idea. Even governments are actively promoting and supporting the development of renewable energies.
With 64,500,000 search results for “green business”, 30,100,000 for “green energy” and 14,500,000 for “clean technology”, Google provides some insights into the dimensions of this movement.* Other sources give a clear picture: The International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that investments in renewable energy will nearly triple from the current €40 billion to €115 billion by 2020. At the same time, employment in the overall sector will increase by 54% and even double in the solid biomass and photovoltaic fields, according to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).**
There are many centers of activity in this worldwide movement for a better (greener) world, and I don’t want to take sides for one or the other. However, I would like to share an observation:
The United States has been criticized for its high levels of energy consumption, lack of adequate governmental policies to curb usage and insufficient promotion of alternative energy sources. At the same time, it might be the country with the largest and most dynamic “green energy” movement in the world.
Truth of the matter is: There is a large and ever growing group of dedicated people out there in the United States who believe in a “green future”. These are people who want to make a difference, people who are fed up with the current legislation’s stance on energy. These people rally all over the country in a quest for change. And they are pretty good at it.
Close to 500 people attended the San Francisco fundraiser “An Evening to Reenergize America” that was organized by Cleantech & Green Business for Obama (CT4-O) on Monday evening. These are 500 people who not only believe in clean technologies and green business, but who actively support the green movement – not only through their work, but also through their monetary contributions (ticket prices for the San Francisco fundraiser were in the $250-2,500 range). I must say that I was pretty impressed by both the turnout of this event and the dedication these people showed.
The event was one of four galas and part of 220 house parties nationwide. All over the country, people organized similar events to benefit the Obama Victory Fund, hoping that their next president will create what is commonly referred to as a “New Energy Economy”, including millions of green jobs and substantial investments in renewable energy.
All of those 500 people who attended the San Francisco fundraiser this week showed great commitment and passion to their industry. They clearly succeeded in demonstrating the strength and breadth of the clean tech and green business constituency in support of building the new energy economy.
* Search performed on October 22, 2008.
** BMU, “Employment Effects. Impact of the Expansion of Renewable Energy on the German Labour Market”, (Berlin, June 2006).
Watch Barak Obama’s pre-recorded message that he delivered to the audience:
Obama on YouTube
Some interesting links:
Official Obama site