A bit academic and “wonky,” but this visual shows that as a percentage of our “budget” is spent on our energy needs, this impacts our ability to spend on other things. So, you see that when oil is expensive a bigger part of our budget goes for that necessity and we have less to spend on other things that drive our economy. Thus, you see recessions correlated with high oil prices.
You will most likely be a grandparent when oil runs out; we should be thinking about what our grandchildren’s life will be like if we are not building our clean economy now…The folks that will make more money as the extractive resources become more scarce will most likely be projecting more potential future reserves and/or greater timeframes for availability, but if we know a better way of doing things now, shouldn’t we be thinking about our kids and our grandkids now too?
The North Pacific gyre is a concentration of plastic waste in the ocean that is the size of Greenland. The beauty of a clean economy is that this waste can create a potential profit for a business that uses this as a feedstock for energy needs….Right now, in our extractive global economy, this mess is just a mess.
The visual in the bottom right-hand of the slide is the “core” principle in sustainability. Maximizing energy efficiency and minimizing waste creates increased product and thus increased profits. As an added “bonus,” waste itself can be converted into energy with the right systems and technology. The overall beauty of a cyclical approach to business production models is that they mirror the cyclical way that the earth “functions,” making us a responsible part of our planet.
Deutsche Bank is a pretty well respected global institution. They are very interested in the potential risks associated with rising oil prices as they are so tied to economic health.
We have a better way to do things…if you had the choice to ride across country in a horse and buggy or to ride across country in a horse-less carriage (what we called cars back when autos were the competition) which would you pick? “Alternative” energy is a recognition that clean, renewable sources of energy are the competition for extractive energy, but it is a choice that an informed person will likely make when given the options. This movement towards clean energy is so important when we realize that as oil and other extractive energy feedstocks decline, there will not be enough available to meet growing demand. This gap between available resources and need can be made up by providing other sources of non-extracted energy and energy efficiency measures (getting more “bang for our buck” from the energy we are using).
Technology: Innovation usually occurs in the lab, more efficient solar cells, better designs for wind power (jet stream), etc.Policies: Innovation example: Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) where up front costs are paid for by the city, and paid back through property taxes (like property assessments that goes towards the public good of streetlights and sidewalks)Markets: Innovation example: Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) where a company (manufacturing factory, for example) would agree to purchase power from the solar company that installs the building’s solar system at a set rate for a set number of years, and the solar company finances the up-front costs of the system itself. WE DO NOT HAVE TO WAIT FOR “TECHNOLOGY” DEVELOPMENTS TO ADDRESS THE “HIGH COST” ISSUE….Would you pay for your $250K house in cash up front? There is a better way to do things… All of these working in synergy together accelerates the development of the clean energy economy
Clean Energy is complex and there is no “silver bullet” it is “silver buckshot.”Most big energy companies have a minute fraction of their business that they invest in clean energy sources, but many have speculated that these companies are simply waiting to see what clean energy will be the “silver bullet” and that then they will acquire it. The problem is that in the meantime, these same companies from the extractive industry don’t really have much “skin in the game” yet and it could be argued that they therefore still are protecting their extractive resource strategy as this is where their profits come from. When added to a very real perspective that there will never really be a silver bullet solution, it becomes increasingly difficult to expect that extractive energy interests are going to change their business model. We are asking horse-and-buggy manufacturers to “play nice” with Henry Ford. The great opportunity in this complex landscape is that each of these types of businesses can create demand for jobs….and if we can figure out how to re-train, or “retrofit” the extractive energy professionals and technicians, we can have a win-win…while the CEO at BP might not be able to do what he does in this new economy, many hard-working employees could potentially have a “new relationship” with energy (aside, we are already talking with folks from oil & gas who are interested in Ecotech programs…individuals are smart, “people” sometimes aren’t….) We know that the many people already employed in this new, clean energy economy are within much smaller companies than transnational extractive corporations. This is another win-win in terms of the great opportunity in this space, which such diversity…and we also have large corporations like GE and others that are actually growing their divisions for CE within their organizations. On a broad scale though, it is still a “David vs. Goliath” picture when comparing PNLs…(profit and loss statements)…as an aside, because of the $5B that just U.S. extractive energy companies get in “subsidies” every year, when one looks at BP’s books, for example, their reporting of their profits is not actually representative of their fiscal value…CE Markets= finance in the form of investments, etc…CE Technology = finance in the form of R&D grants, etc…CE Policy= finance in the form of political contributions, etc….
Each of these elements of the modern, or “smart,” grid creates demand for experienced workers…
Walk through the concept of a wind farm, locate on the CEE Gateway map, etc…Example of facility manager description:
Solar jobs landscape; outline the way visualization tools are being used to enhance the intuitive understanding of complex data. This translates into wider ability to discuss the opportunity with decision-makers in communities.
Clean economy 101
Energy Drives the Economy<br />Source: www.brookings.edu/economics/bpea/bpea.aspx<br />
Extractive Economy vs. Clean Economy<br />Extractive<br />Clean<br />
Extractive Economy vs. Clean Economy<br />Extractive Energy Economy<br />Plastics, fertilizers, pesticides<br />Transports all goods (including food) and people, “runs” the global economy<br />
Extractive Taking from a declining source<br />
Clean Instead of waste as garbage, waste as “feedstock”<br />Product ($)<br />Materials<br />Energy<br />Non-product (waste)<br />
Extractive As supplies dwindle, prices rise<br />Quantity, or supply, decreases<br />Costs increase<br />
Clean Increasing returns, not diminishing returns<br />Ideas as “base” for economy means a “sustainable” source; as the base increases, value and opportunity increase<br />Clean<br />
Extractive Energy Economy vs. Clean Energy Economy<br />
The Extractive Economy: Huge Potential Threat<br />
The Clean Economy: Huge Market Opportunity<br />This “gap” can be “filled” by energy efficiency and clean energy solutions<br />“Peak Oil” is not a question of “if” but “when…”<br />
The Clean Energy Economy<br />Innovations can occur in all three areas: Tech, Policy, & Markets<br />Technologies<br />Reducing<br />Risk<br />Mobilizing Capital<br />Clean Energy Economic Growth<br />Policies<br />Markets<br />Source: NREL<br />
The Clean Energy Economy: Silver Buckshot<br />Clean Energy Markets: Megawatts & Negawatts<br />Finance<br />Generation: How do we create value propositions for increasing CE megawatts?<br />Distribution: How do we accelerate the flow of CE megawatts through the grid? How do we increase the flow of clean fuels to end users? How do we build the market for clean energy vehicles?<br />Efficiency: How do we build business models for marketing “negawattage?” How do we retrofit physical infrastructure to optimize energy usage? <br />
The Clean Energy Economy: Silver Buckshot Part 2<br />