10 Ways to nurture a green tech revolution found on Futerra:
By Ed Gillespie (@frucool)
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.
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).
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…
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.
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…
Meanwhile for Business the tasks are…
#6 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.
#7 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…
#8 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.
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?
#10 Market it baby
Drive demand for low carbon products and services by making them brilliant, gorgeous and affordable!
Right, now can I be Prime Minister please? »
(Pictures from Sizzle: the new climate message © Futerra Sustainability Communications)
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