Fortunately for the rest of us, some people missed the message, the one that says we’re in an economic slide so slippery there is no climbing back up.

I had a chance to speak to several of these optimists recently. No, they are not members of the Pollyanna Club; they are green energy entrepreneurs, those who are innovating and growing companies as the rest of the world downsizes. (See Energy Entrepreneurs Flock to Renewables Bonanza in Renewable Energy World magazine.)

These are folks that can’t stop creating no matter how mucky our outlook. In fact, problems seem to incite their inventiveness.

Their inventions are diverse; as are they, but their activities are converging into some trends.

  • Silicon Valley and the energy industry are teaming up more and more. “You can’t throw a softball around here without hitting another solar company,” said Dan Shugar, Solaria’s chief operating officer, from Silicon Valley.
  • Energy is producing its own crop of rising Mark Zuckerbergs and Steve Jobs, who I suspect will be the next generation of business legends.
  • Perhaps most significant, a lot of today’s innovation focuses on bringing consumers and businesses greater efficiency and control over energy in their homes and businesses, whether through cell phone apps that let you adjust your thermostat while miles away, financing mechanism that make solar affordable to the rest of us, orwindows that generate electricity on two sides, using a form of artificial photosynthesis that takes advantage of both the sun outside and the electric lights indoors.

These are just a few of the new energy innovations that focus on what’s right here in my home or even in the palm of my hand. Getty Images, which studies how energy companies speak to consumers through pictures, calls this new trend “Homing in on Green.”

“While pictures of wind turbines and oil rigs remain popular, Getty Images has seen a marked 40 percent increase  in images that showcase  efforts to ‘go green’ on a smaller scale – for example, images of people swapping old light bulbs for energy efficient counterparts, neighborhoods with solar paneled roofs, families drying laundry outside, rather than relying on technology,” said Getty Images in announcing the third edition of its research report, The Curve.

Are these images actually getting through to people? Do consumers have any sense of the magnitude of change occurring in energy and how it will affect their day-to-day lives? It seems not. Most people are not even aware of federal and state financial incentives they can receive if they integrate new energy technologies into their lives, according to a survey sponsored manufacturer Emerson. Among the 1,007 US adults who participated in the September 2011 poll, 61% were unaware of the financial assistance available.

So, while big things are happening in energy; consumers by-in-large don’t know it yet. But the changes are coming, this time right to our doorsteps – and even if we’re not at home, we’ll be able to let them in, using probably just our cell phones.

Elisa Wood is co-author of the report, “Energy Efficient Lighting Explained: A guide for business people who aren’t lighting techies.”

Views: 86

Comment

You need to be a member of Home Energy Pros to add comments!

Join Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

R Higgins replied to William Fisher's discussion Can tankless water heaters provide hot water even when the groundwater is fairly cold?
"I have that problem, 45 to 50 degree ground water, in summer, not that we have much of a…"
3 hours ago
R Higgins replied to Larry Schaffert's discussion How to correctly insulate exterior wall in a 1900 house?
"I'd suggest trying to replicate the existing conditions as much as possible in your rebuild,…"
4 hours ago
Bryan Pringle replied to Bryan Pringle's discussion Dense packed cellulose in basement?
"I am getting a lot of "bad idea" push back on this.  I fully understand that…"
16 hours ago
Greg Mitchell commented on Larry Ralph Jr's blog post Top 7 Worst Crawl Space Repairs
"Spray Foam should be used in crawlspaces.   To learn about closed cell foam in crawlspaces…"
16 hours ago
Jerry Lawrence posted events
yesterday
Morgan M Audetat replied to Bryan Pringle's discussion Dense packed cellulose in basement?
"Right you are. You have to ask: what will the cellulose contribute.  Here in Minneapolis we…"
yesterday
Morgan M Audetat replied to Tony Hicks's discussion Slab-on-grade Insulation
"All slabs float. We have been installing radiant floors on various slab constructions since the…"
yesterday
Tony Hicks replied to Tony Hicks's discussion Slab-on-grade Insulation
"2" XPS foam. I'd love an R-20. Having foam thick enough to get an R-20 would be…"
yesterday

© 2015   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service