Where can you find investment in clean technology? In the Navy!
People have been pointing out for a while now that the U.S. military is an excellent source of innovation in clean technology. Not only because of Congress’ 2007 mandate that Department of Defense agencies generate at least 25 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2025, but also because it makes sense in terms of the energy efficiency, cost reduction and flexibility that the military needs to conduct its activities.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we have one of the highest concentrations of military personnel in the entire country (The State of Washington ranks seventh in the nation for the number of military personnel claiming residence in the state.) So, in addition to the billions of dollars in economic impact that the military presence in the Puget Sound generates, there is real opportunity to connect our state’s thriving clean technology industry cluster with the Department of Defense’s gigantic budget for research and development.
The chair of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce just identified investment in clean tech as one of his top recommendations for helping our economy out of the current downturn. The state doesn’t have a lot of money right now, as you may have heard, and a lot of venture capital has dried up, so it’s time to get creative in finding funding, and this may be a great opportunity.