As I was riding the bus the other day on my way to downtown Ottawa, I picked up the copy of the National Post that was discarded on the seat next to mine. Being the eco-conscious person that I am, I was planning to discard the newspaper in a paper bin the minute I left the bus. What caught my eye though was an article by Alia McMullen titled Clean technologies moving mainstream.
The gist of the article is that certain companies (particularly General Electric) have found a new wealth of revenue by actively pursuing clean technologies as a business model. On last check, the corporate juggernaut had over $70-billion in orders for their eco-related products line (which grew from 17 products to 70 in that same frame). Not too shabby for a business space they only entered with a strategy four years ago.
The most interesting aspects of the article are some of the comments by Sandfire Securities chief effective Jonathon Robinson. One was his reiteration that the growth of clean tech can only be limited by the bandwidth of existing power grids of North America (a major obstacle repeatedly echoed by many industry analysts). The hope is that with the recent injection of funding via the stimulus package, the U.S. can begin work on replacing these older grids.
The second comment I found interesting was Mr. Robinson's belief that clean technology would be fully incorporated into mainstream society. That's a very hopeful statement and one that hopefully tells us that general industry has identified the clean tech space as the space to be to generate new business opportunities. The more mainstream clean tech gets, the more opportunities there are for engineers to stake their claim in this burgeoning technology. One could only hope that a massive corporation like GE, who has seen the clean tech product line grow rapidly into a $70-billion industry in the span of four years will serve as the eye-opener the rest of the corporate world needs to start throwing themselves fully into clean technology.