Investments In Clean Technology Already Starting To Pay Off

from the the-double-bottom-line dept

While record amounts are being invested in new clean (or green) tech ventures, some companies are already seeing big returns in this area. Industrial conglomerate General Electric says that it's built up a $50 billion backlog for its environmentally friendly products like wind turbines and fluorescent light bulbs. According to the company, it's pitching its products as both good for the environment and its customers' profits, which is the right way to be thinking of these technologies. Meanwhile, Jeff Nolan points to the surprising news that in the US, carbon dioxide emissions actually fell in the last year, despite a strong economic expansion. Regardless of where one falls on the issue of global warming, carbon dioxide emissions serve as a good proxy for measuring energy use and efficiency. The fact that emissions are falling is a pretty good sign that the broad interest in new technology and energy efficiency are paying off.


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  1.  
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    Jake (profile), May 29th, 2007 @ 10:47am

    Warmer winter=less CO2 emissions

    It's good that emissions were down last year, but one reason was because of the warm winter. Of course, if summer was hotter than normal that should have meant a rise in CO2 output. Looking at the data, there is some variability from year to year, so it's not clear if this is part of a larger trend.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2007 @ 11:18am

    It's carbon offsets too.

    I bought $3000 worth last year. I plan to buy $5000 this year.....










    No, I'm not that stupid. Carbon offsets are a good scam, I wish I had thought of it and made a bunch of cash. As that saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted."

     

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  3.  
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    Wyatt, May 29th, 2007 @ 11:21am

    Thats true..

    But I think what they are saying is that the C02 was down even when a lot of growth was happening. Still though, this down was probably a minuscule portion of the amount needed to reduce or stop global warming. I guess you got to start somewhere though.

     

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  4.  
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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), May 29th, 2007 @ 11:24am

    MPAA numbers

    I think John Kerry has taken notes from the MPAA saying we need to reduce emissions 60-80% by 2050 or it is all over. Maybe if the politicians kept their mouth shut it would cut back on that amount of CO-2 but as far as I can tell, there will be a lot more politicians in 2050. Plus the Washington Post makes it sound like this reduction is an estimate.
    Dialog from guys at Dept. of Energy:
    Guy 1: "After my calculations, CO-2 emissions are down this year"
    Guy 2: "Dumbass, you forgot to carry the one in the 8th column!"
    Guy 1: "Well, I already sent the number to the Bush administration."

    I also wonder about all the energy and pollution that goes into building and maintaining windfarms along with the fact that they really aren't that efficient. Hopefully all the interest will spark more R&D in the field.

     

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  5.  
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    BillGod, May 29th, 2007 @ 12:02pm

    Help

    Its your job to help the environment. Stop breating and quit putting off CO2!!!

     

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  6.  
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    Witty Nickname, May 29th, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    Money

    I agree 100%! I read an article recently that environmentalists are upset at Wal-Mart for making green improvements! Apparently the fact they are doing it to save money is just not good enough, their heart has to be in the right place.

    If I were an environmentalist group I would be putting up ads on Fox News Channel talking about how much money you can add to your bottom line by making green improvements.

    For the record, I am a Republican from Texas, I am not 100% sure about Global Warming, (but I have more faith in that theory than I did a year ago) and I am saving about $60 a month from a $130 investment in Compact Flourescent Light bulbs. If everyone did it to save money, then carbon emissions will take a nose dive.

     

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  7.  
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    bigger picture, May 29th, 2007 @ 12:05pm

    #4

    "I also wonder about all the energy and pollution that goes into building and maintaining windfarms along with the fact that they really aren't that efficient. Hopefully all the interest will spark more R&D in the field."

    First I agree with most of what you are saying

    Like the model T was not the most efficient car so to will these wind farms and solar arrays evolve. The initial ecological as well as financial hits will be larger now but (hopefully) will decrease as more companies start to improve the tech for their own economic benefit.

    Someone; or in this case a bunch of companies, have to be the pioneers. And part of that is not doing it perfectly this time but to lay down the foundation for others to improve what they have created. so I am with you on the overall point but don't think the downsides should stop the progress and the overall goal Which I hope is greener power that helps all of us and makes these companies enough money to stay around (which honestly is the ONLY real reason they do it anyway) thought I'd add my .02 cents.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 29th, 2007 @ 12:11pm

    It's carbon offsets too.

    I bought $3000 worth last year. I plan to buy $5000 this year.....










    No, I'm not that stupid. Carbon offsets are a good scam, I wish I had thought of it and made a bunch of cash. As that saying goes, "A fool and his money are soon parted."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    dorpus, May 29th, 2007 @ 12:44pm

    The Inquisition

    The Western World today is at the height of its religious fervor in "environmentalism". Notice how even "antisocial" heavy metal bands don't dare say anything bad about the environment. I, for one, welcome the killing of trees, the poisoning of the Earth -- who cares about preserving the past? I want to see more babies with 3 heads and hippies dying horrible deaths from tumors leaking glowing green genetically modified ooze.

     

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  10.  
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    Shun, May 29th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Prefectly Rational Solution

    I have the best(tm) solution to all of this global warming mumbo jumbo.

    1. Find the perfect sized comet/asteroid. Comets are preferred, since they contains tons of water, but an asteroid would work for point 2b.

    2. Drop in ocean. The brilliance of this plan is that most of the polluting (burning fuel, throwing off matter) will be done in space. Space will thank us, too, for getting rid of its unwanted garbage. Dropping in ocean will have the two intended effects of : a. cooling the planet (solves global warming) and b. killing everyone who lives on the coast (solves the problem of everyone whining about it.)

    3. Move to the Midwest, like all the other God-Fearing Hicks/Rednecks/People of the Soil.

    4. Wait for another source of Armageddon. Although at this point, if the space jocks throwing rocks at us from space get uppity, we won't be waiting long.

    Man, I should get a government grant for this stuff. I need to look up space-based trebuchets on Wikipedia...

     

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  11.  
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    keith, May 29th, 2007 @ 1:31pm

    grants

    If you already are a God-Fearing Hick/Redneck/Person of the Soil, I'm betting you are already getting goverment grants to do nothing.

    CF lights are awesome. They are getting cheaper by the year and really do cut electric bills. Not to mention they don't generate as much heat which could lower cooling costs slightly. I'm eagerly awaiting the in-expensive LED light bulb. They are out there, but are just a little to pricey at this point.

     

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  12.  
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    Kamm, May 29th, 2007 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Warmer winter=less CO2 emissions

    Warm winter my foot...
    You don't live in Wisconsin do you? 2006-2007 was a friggin' cold winter my friend.

     

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  13.  
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    David Swain, May 30th, 2007 @ 9:33am

    Profits driving carbon reductions

    This highlight of this is that there is big money in selling products and services that can make a real and substantial impact on the environment and global warming. Continued profits will drive more innovation in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The challenge is that we have a long way to go, and unlike organic foods and homebuilding where there are formalized standards to follow, businesses are left to come up with their own measurements. In most cases, this measurement is in carbon reductions and offsets... and it is clear that there is still too much room for error and misleading claims. Regardless, we're off to a good start and profits will help get things ironed out.

     

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