I subscribe to a great number of free online newsletters that cover cleantech at a fairly broad level, and though I certainly don’t read every word, I do glance through them. If you have a spare minute, I would ask you to check out this article from SmartGridNews, and tell me what you think.
What it showed me is that the world, even here in the U.S., is quietly making significant progress towards a new, clean electrical grid. Each day, a large collection of different types of companies are making terrific headway in this space. One could break this out as follows:
• Industrial giants like GE, Siemens, Schneider Electric, Johnson Controls, Itron, and Honeywell
• IT titans like Google, Microsoft and Cisco
• Smaller enterprises working in specific disciplines within smart grid, batteries, EV charging, solar, wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal, energy efficiency, biofuels, etc.
• The fossil fuel energy industry, many of which see the proverbial handwriting on the wall.
Politicians may be noisily snubbing clean energy, but, fortunately for us all, the reality behind the scenes is going in a different direction.
But while we’re on the subject of politics, how can the world of Washington and business be so far apart? The answer that I accept came from a keynote address at one of last year’s Renewable Energy Finance Forums, by Pennsylvania’s ex-governor Ed Rendell, who pointed out:
There are too many special interests arrayed against renewables. Over 90% of Democrat voters are in favor of Congress passing legislation that prioritizes clean energy. In fact, over 75% of Republican voters are in favor of the exact same thing. Clearly, the will of the American people is being frustrated by special interests.
Together, we can do this, but we can’t do it inside the Beltway. The lobbyists are raising campaign money for our senators and representatives in Washington seven days a week. It never stops. It never stops. There are fund-raisers happening literally every night. If change is going to happen, it needs to take place in hometown America.
As sickening as that is, it’s heartening that the business world is heading in the right direction, regardless of the misdirection it may be receiving from government.