The Chinese are pushing to the fore in the global race to develop and market clean technologies. The New York Times of the 30th of January warns that the western world may become as reliant on Chinese clean technologies as we are now dependent on oil from the Middle East.
We have seen it before in fields of high technology as well. Japan, formerly a low cost, low quality producer of electronics and cheap cars became the global leader in many areas of advanced technologies.
In an article in The Washington Post of the 2nd of August 2009, CEO of GE Jeff Immelt, and venture capitalist John Doerr warn of this threat and argue that there is a need of large scale government investment in the US to make the US a leader in this field, like it has been in many high tech fields, such as IT in the past.
Not surprisingly, the uncontested global leader in the sustainability area, Al Gore, launches a similar argument in his latest book “Our Choice”:
“The turning point came in 2009. The year began well, with the inauguration of a new president in the United States, who immediately shifted priorities to focus on building the foundation for a new low-carbon economy.”
Yes, there is definitely a need for large scale development programs in the clean tech area. Yes, there is a need for a political focus on these issues. Yes, business in the western hemisphere needs to stand its ground, and in order to to this there is a need for large scale managed programs and large scale implementation of green technology. These programs need to start soon, or China, and perhaps India, will take the leadership in many fields, where we still have an opportunity to take strong positions.
The solution is not haphazard technology development. No, we need well managed programs of technology development and implementation in order to make this possible. These programs need to be built on analysis of the needs and opportunities, high level strategies for technology development and implementation, planned programs and projects with clear goals, and tight management of the development and implementation phases of these programs.
Global Energy Transformation Institute is today one of the clearest advocates of such programs on the global scene. The idea is to develop US and European capabilities that will be on par with, or stronger than, those of China and other Asian economies in many clean tech fields. Following a demand from many business leaders and politicians whom we have spoken to in the past few months, Global Energy Transformation Institute will launch a sponsorship program, that will strengthen the abilities of this organization to strongly lobby to increase the competitiveness of western industry in clean tech areas. Support Global Energy Transformation Institute, support US and European clean tech development, and support a more promising economic outlook in the decades to come.