There are a couple of articles in Wired and the FT today about the recent increase in investment in green technology; including solar power, carbon sequestration, wind turbines, energy efficiency technology, and water purifiers.
Highlighted in both is the how rapidly the amounts of money being invested are increasing, from Wired:
Investments in companies working on green technology in North America totaled almost $4 billion in 2007, according to the CleanTech Group. And 2008 is on track to yield five times what was invested in 2004.
They also compare the current increase in investment with the dotcom boom of the late nineties, noting the comparatively high cost of entry as well as the long term outlook of green technology industries, from The FT:
Earlier this year, Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital, an important venture capital investor, warned of a speculative bubble in clean technology start-ups. It is an inevitable concern in the wake of the dotbomb and the less-than-impressive performance of many social networking websites. But echoing the words of solar power entrepreneur Mr Ford, Mr Traversone ripostes: “This is not a fad, this is a secular trend in investment.”
It would be wonderful if there was a second industrial revolution in clean, green technology. Thinkers like James Martin in his excellent book The Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint for Ensuring our Future talks about the idea of “eco-affluence” – the idea of developing an environmentally-friendly but extremely prosperous economy. I recommend Martin’s book as it discusses many speculative ideas but is grounded in reliable evidence.