Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Challenge for CleanTech

PROTEUS Consulting is very involved in CleanTech and we are pleased to see the innovation happening in recycling, renewable energy (wind, solar, hydro, biofuels, biomass), energy efficiency, water efficiency, gray water, lighting, electric motors, information technology, and green transportation. The aim of these technologies are to create a smaller environmental footprint and reduce pollution. This indeed great that it's happening, it was needed.

The concern that we have, however, is about sustainability. Sustainability is about incorporating all the three aspects - economic, environmental, and people, and to look at viability of a technology / project on a long-tern life-cycle scale. This is best shown in this graphic by Water Corporation.

Most CleanTech projects we are finding these days are predominantly in the second Economic slice (i.e. "Find Efficiencies"). Most technologies deal with "Prevent Harm" in Environmental slice with very few actually looking at "Conserve Environmental Value". As for the Social aspect, most of these technologies are also in the first slice - "Protect Health & Wellbeing".

We feel that the push has to be towards "Create Value, Enhance Ecological Resilience, and Enhance Communities". For that life cycle analysis of the proposed technologies is essential and imperative. As an end-user, owners should ask for a comprehensive assessment of the entire technology and evaluate it's complete impact. As a clean technology provider, one should also look at presenting this information to the client. How else can a technology really be proclaimed as a 'CleanTech'? What are the metrics?

Another post on this issue can be found here.

No comments:

Post a Comment