Archives for July 2007

GigaOM launches cleantech blog Earth2Tech

As a follow on to my last post on cleantech mediaGigaOM has also entered the fray with a new blog called Earth2Tech. Fellow Red Herring alumnae Katie Fehrenbacher and Adena DeMonte will be running the show at Earth2Tech. In discussion for more than half a year, Earth2Tech will move beyond the telecom, broadband world that GigaOM has traditionally plied, and look at the world of solar, biofuel, fuel cells, water etc. In a call with Katie, who is the blog’s editor, she talked about “trying to fill the void” that exists between cleantech entrepreneurs, venture and technology. “You see a lot of consumer green blogs, where you can learn about how to cut down your carbon footprint, but not a lot of aggressive, cleantech business coverage,” she said. To begin with, she expects about 7 posts a day, with a minimum 2 being original features. The other stuff will be more blog post style, aggregating commentary and news. Katie echoed a sentiment felt by many working in the cleantech space – that it is frickin’ HUGE (my words). So she and Adena will be focused on “what’s local and what’s hot” in Silicon Valley, and not so much on what the big multinationals are doing, since “its more difficult to pry information from them”. There will also be a regular post on cleantech related eco-web tools (such as a GPS tool that finds the nearest e85), as well as the occasional lifestyle piece by other bloggers such as Liz Gannes of NewTeeVee.

China – Cleantech Boom… or Bust?

This past spring Tristan Fischer, then chief executive officer of Camco International Ltd., a global firm that helps companies identify and develop projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, scoured China’s countryside for a new breed of opportunity. Rather than looking for cheap shoes to stock the shelves of big-box retailers, he was searching for carbon-belching smokestacks in need of clean technology to offset carbon emissions and make them available for market trading. Though China has benefited from more than 25 years of rapid economic growth, that progress has also created an environmental nightmare of global proportions, with worse to come in the next 20 years. The country, which gets nearly 70 percent of its energy from burning dirty coal, is on track to surpass the United States as the world’s top GHG emitter as early as the end of this year—more than a decade earlier than previously predicted—according to  International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol. In addition to GHG emissions, China has many other environmental problems, including water shortages and poor air quality that threaten public health and industrial output. With finite supplies of carbon-based energy and growing global demand, China will have to find other—and cleaner—sources of energy.

China’s large and growing appetite for clean technology will create one of the biggest market opportunities in the next few decades, providing the potential for enormous wealth creation by cleaning up the ecological mess that has come from its miraculous, but dirty growth. Many climate change experts are betting that the solution to the world’s environmental problems resides in the technological innovation coming out of Silicon Valley and other high-tech clusters in the United States and Europe. But to fully benefit from such technology, China will have to change its policies and consumer attitudes quickly to speed its adoption of the technology—or face significant economic, social, and public health ramifications. “China says it will obtain 15 percent of its [primary] energy from renewables by 2020,” says Mike Eckhart, president of the American Council of Renewable Energy, referring to the goal China first announced in November 2005. “But China has got it backward. If it’s not at 85 percent renewable, we’re in big trouble.” Though China is unlikely to change its renewable energy targets so radically, the central government is highly motivated to address China’s chronic energy shortage and severe environmental pollution. Across the board, Beijing is enacting policies that will require huge investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart building, clean water, and cleaner coal. These initiatives include:

Read more at the China Business Review