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Archive for the ‘GREEN ECONOMICS’ Category

Forrester Research predicts that the green IT services market could grow by as much as 60 percent per year into 2013, when it will peak at $4.8 billion before leveling off.

According to a report issued by Forrester analyst Chris Mines on April 24th, businesses are deploying sustainability metrics around criteria such as water and power use, and are also starting to track their corporate carbon footprint. Many enterprises are looking to IT services firms to help plan and implement green IT initiatives, and while the global recession is putting a squeeze on IT spending, it also is persuading corporations to optimize their existing IT assets rather than buy new ones, and is fueling the federal government’s drive to fund green projects.

According to an article in eWeek by Jeffrey Burt, there were some positive and negative factors that went into calculating the latest projections. The global recession is expected to cause worldwide IT spending to shrink by 3 percent this year over 2008—with IT services and outsourcing spending falling along the same lines. In addition, the recession’s negative impact on corporate capital spending convinced Mine to reduce the average spend on a green IT project’s implementation phase from about $1 million to $800,000, reflecting the interest by businesses to optimize existing IT assets rather than buy new ones.

Read Jeffrey Burt’s article at http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Green-IT/Green-IT-Service-Market-to-Grow-to-48-Billion-in-2013-Forrester-587606/

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There’s no denying that green tech has become sort of a buzzword in the industry, but beyond the millions of great ideas, is the reality of turning those ideas into successful business ventures. To address this and the various other issues surrounding the economic implications of clean-energy policies, Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs, enterprise, and innovation in the White House, recently spoke at the Bentley University Leadership Forum.

Tasked with coordinating green job-related initiatives among different government agencies, Jones relayed his message that a “riptide of innovation” was about to flow through the energy industry if President Barack Obama has his way.

In addition to touting the recent stimulus package, Jones indicated that the most promising industries for growth are those at the crossroads of information technology and energy technology.

“Five to 10 years from now, the people making the most money are the people who figure how to store those clean electrons and move them around the country,” Jones said.

To read more about Jones’ speech, check out the CNET News article at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10220936-54.html.

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As the concept of environmental responsibility reaches a critical mass, the venture capital community appears to be following suit. According to findings from the Venture Capital Association, clean technology emerged as the fastest growing area for venture capital investment last year. The 54% rise to $4.1 billion in clean technology investment towers over the $444 million raised just four years ago.

This increased venture capital interest, combined with a $787 billion United States economic stimulus plan featuring considerable incentives for green initiatives, has environmental-focused start-ups clamoring for a piece of the pie.

“You have kind of a perfect storm where you see technology at the point where it can actually be commercialized and the government recognizing the need,” said Emily Mendell in a recent article posted by Reuters. The Venture Capital Association’s vice president of strategic affairs went on to say that, “You have consumers who are ready to embrace the technology. All these things are contributing to an interest in investment.”

To read more about the growth of the clean technology sector, read Deborah Cohen’s article at: http://www.reuters.com/article/deborahCohen/idUSTRE5373IS20090408?sp=true

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Certainly the entire world hasn’t jumped on the green bus yet, but it is probably safe to say most of us are growing more conscious of our energy use.  And given the state of the economy, saving a few dollars doesn’t sound too bad, either.  Much of the media glitz around green thus far has hyped the cost-savings benefits, but it still seems like most eco-friendly steps wind up loading an additional expense on adopters.  Of course, this isn’t to say some of these efforts aren’t worth the cost, but no green behavior will ever go mainstream if – over the long term – it costs us more than it saves.  Bottom line, right?

New (and very cool) company Visible Energy is looking to change this rather self-defeating trend with a new – and free! – tool that allows you to track your energy usage and compare it with other homes, schools, and businesses in your world.  When you learn exactly how you are using energy, you can learn how to reduce it.  And reducing energy use means saving money, which is a benefit on which everyone can agree!  

The company ultimately hopes that showing consumers their energy use and comparing it to those around them will empower them to change behavior for the better – not only to save money, but to reduce their carbon footprints and adopt an environmentally friendly lifestyle that saves us all in the long run.

Have to like this idea!  Smart and simple.  Download the free tool now and poke around at www.visibleenergy.com.

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While the venture capital industry worldwide is feeling the effects of the current economic conditions, there is one area that doesn’t seem to be feeling the pinch as much: renewable energy. According to Greentech Media Inc., venture capital investment in green technologies totaled $836.1 million in the first quarter of 2009.

Remarks made by Ira Ehrenpreis, General Partner at greentech investment firm Technology Partners, include the following: “The $800 million of investment this quarter is more capital than has been invested annually for most of the years that we’ve been investing in the cleantech sector.” Eric Wesoff, analyst at GTM Research and Greentech Innovations Report author added, “Despite the slump, VC investors remain optimistic about the greentech sector and eventual exits in this space.”

Greentech Media noted that solar continues to be the leading sector with $356.6 million in investments, followed by energy storage with $121.5 million and biofuels with $94.15 million.

More information: http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090401005987&newsLang=en

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Many green-supporters are urging President Barack Obama to pursue a “green revolution” with big investments in renewable energy. This has the potential to open new markets and create millions of “green-collar” jobs. But is there a downside to this investment?

One short coming of the green revolution argument is that it doesn’t realistically take efficiency into account, according to a recent article by Bjørn Lomborg, author of “The Skeptical Environmentalist” and “Cool It”.

According to Lomborg, green initiatives will open new markets only if other nations subsidize inefficient technologies bought abroad. Thus, the real game becomes which nations get to use other nations’ tax-financed subsidies. Apart from the resulting global inefficiency, this also creates many new industry players that will keep pushing inefficient legislation for their own profit.

The crucial point is that many green technologies are not cost-effective, at least not yet. If they were, we wouldn’t need to subsidize them. A good example is Denmark, which early on provided huge subsidies for wind power, building thousands of inefficient turbines around the country from the 1980s onwards.

The key to tackling global warming and supporting a genuinely vibrant economy is to focus on lean investments in future breakthroughs, rather than bloated subsidies for inefficient technologies. Find out more at: http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090330/OPINION01/903300314/1008/Denmark+s+wind+subsidies+prove+costly

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VCs invested over $1 billion in alternative energy during the third quarter of 2008, while investments in most other sectors were down – and this trend is likely to continue in 2009.  For an overview of the hottest green-related opportunities, and the innovative people, organizations and ideas related to pursuing those opportunities, attend Alternative Energy Innovations in Redwood City, CA from April 21-22.   According to event organizer Dow Jones, Alternative Energy Innovations includes

“An impressive group of speakers, including executives from major utilities, oil companies and corporations, CEOs from 70 of the sector’s most promising start-ups and, of course, the industry’s leading investors.  Attend Alternative Energy Innovations Spring and walk away with clear perspectives on:

– Where investors and corporations see opportunity in alternative energy amid the economic downturn
– In-depth looks at key markets, including wind power, batteries, energy storage and efficiency
– Where the best bets are for exit opportunities in alternative energy”

Online registration: http://alternativeenergy.dowjones.com/register

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