10 Ways to nurture a green tech revolution…Posted by ed in blog September 28, 2011
Yesterday I had the privilege of joining a panel at a Demos event at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool: “Opportunity Knocks: How can government and business nurture a green tech revolution?”. I shared the platform with Luciana Berger MP, Arne de Kock Senior Commercial Manager at Shell UK (there representing Shell Springboard) and John Lewis of 2D Heat.
It was a pretty lively discussion, and here’s a precis of my contribution, firstly from Government:
- Vision: We need a compelling, dramatic, positive and engaging vision of the low carbon future, economy and country we are trying to create. It needs to be ‘sizzling’ obviously.
- Regulation: Not the sexiest idea tucked into the suspender of change, but hey, Feed in Tariffs, Low Carbon Enterprise Zones, and the use of low interest loans by the Carbon Trust have helped drive innovation such as retrofitting of LED lighting (something we’re doing here at Futerra).
- Reskilling: Why don’t we take the presumably quite technically minded 3000 staff to be laid off by BAE Systems and retrain them? We could use their expertise in developing clever ways of blowing things and people up and aim it in a slightly more constructive direction. Likewise for all those experienced offshore engineers, lets get them building wind turbines, wave and tidal power stations rather than oil and gas platforms…
- Investment: Show. Me. The. Money. Or ‘cold folding’ as we call it in Norfolk, we need to invest some serious money, not cut the funding of crucial emerging technologies such as wave and tidal power. There is a serious risk of massive opportunity cost to the UK economy if we fail to develop, capitalise and export these technologies.
- Prioritise: We have to do this. Let’s be decisive and put it at the heart of Government strategy. Let’s get the Treasury onboard and let’s kickstart a revolution…Government’s always love those…
- Proportional Commitment: While schemes like Springboard are laudable in principle, the £320,000 a year the scheme awards, though crucial and invaluable to the businesses that receive it, is approximately 20 seconds of profit for Shell. This is not just a drop in the ocean, it’s a tiny bit of plankton. We need business to do more.
- Disruptive Innovation: Big business often stifles or holds back innovation as it threatens existing business models and vested interests. I can’t imagine ZipCar was exactly welcomed by the major car companies for example. What do we want? Mobility! How do we want it? Well, not necessarily by having a useless car sat idle outside our house most of the time! Peugeot’s ‘Mu’ offers a glimpse of the future…
- Services not Products: See above, but the energy sector in particular needs to focus less on ‘flogging fuel’ and more on ‘energy services’. If it weren’t for climate change we could be ‘fuel-neutral’, but it’s happening, so instead of incremental tweaks in efficiency we need radical changes in generation and demand not supply management.
- Investment: More ‘cold-folding’ of course, perhaps via the long awaited, much vaunted and hopefully not hobbled Green Investment Bank. My personal dream is to be able to directly invest for my retirement (fat chance) in businesses and technologies that might actually benefit and contribute towards my future quality of life in 25 years time. Is that too much to ask?
- Market it baby: Drive demand for low carbon products and services by making them brilliant, gorgeous and affordable!
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October 20, 2011
i wonder how many square miles of UNUSED rooftop there are on public (schools & council) buildings and PETROL STATIONS. #solar would help offset #bigoil companies carbon footprint especially if every petrol station HAD to use their space sustainably.
Â Also an incentive needed for less #toxic fuels (a real green consumer choice) at each and every fuel outlet including electric car charging points.
Existing STREET LIGHTING grid would easily convert to charge up Ecars imagining a wireless network and a swipe card or identity fob for each vehicle and all equipment enclosed on the existing street lamp access panel.
A Huge incentive would be needed to MAKE the auto manufacturers reprogram their VEHICLE E.C.U’s to allow forÂ (H2O) to be added to the fuel system.Â
H2O (hydrogen+hydrogen+oxygen) reduces CO2 &NoX emissions drastically and saves fossil fuel usage on combustion engines.
Â If Shipping were PUSHED to use biodiesel for example any accident would prove less #toxic. The real goal would be water as a fuel . You cant contaminate with a clean product.
like to share this with you lovely people:
found two crazy designs on youtube for wind turbines one is a vortex (venturi) cone shape and the other has an inflatable circular ‘blade’
October 20, 2011