Ater weeks of debate and intense lobbying by green businesses and environmentalists around the Bay Area, San Francisco finally passed the country's most aggressive municiple solar grant plan. As Elsa Wenzel at CNET mentions, this will sweeten the SF pot for green start ups.
This is another example of the considerable movement at the municiple and state levels to drive green adoption. While this is a great thing for green vendors, it makes the job of cleantech PR practitioners and marketers much more difficult, as they are tempted to take a patchwork local-market approach to selling their wares.
While local PR programs are effective (we've been executing them for medical clients for nearly two decades), green is a different market that requires as much nationwide education as it does adoption. This is especially true as the federal climate becomes more politicized in an election year and much of the legislation introduced in 2008 is more about drawing battle lines than about getting things signed into law. That will change in early 2009, which makes national PR programs integrated with government relations even more critical. For this reason and this reason alone, it is important that green marketing and PR organizations not get too myopic.
With all of that said, bravo to San Francisco for taking the initiative to get a program in place. It will lead to an influx of companies setting up shop in the city and create a number of green collar jobs in the area.
It will be interesting if this also helps draw conferences to the city that have to date been the domain of Southern California, including Solar Power 2008 and GreenXchange Expo. Good days for solar are ahead.
Tags: cleantech marketing
, cleantech PR
, elsa wenzel
, green collar jobs
, green marketing
, green pr
, solar grant
, solar power
, solar power 2008
Posted by Jason Morris on June 12, 2008 at 11:32 AM
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Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a drought in California following one of the driest springs on record. This of course is bad news to the farmers in the state and those of us in the East Bay who want grass for a yard and not a dustbowl.
The majority of the state's water comes from the Sierra snowpack and that pack is thinner this year than in normal years. Some farmers can make up the difference with deep water pumps, but those pumps run on diesel and use 5 gallons per hour, meaning one hour of pumping costs about $26-$30 per hour depending on the cost of fuel.
Conservationists and environmentalists point to global warming as the driver of snowpack reduction, whereas global warming naysayers call the drought cyclical. Regardless of who is right and given the cost of fuel right now, it leads to interesting questions about markets you don't hear much about.
The first market is desalination. This is a technology that has never made sense because of the fuel needed--wood, coal, natural gas--to power a desalination plant. Today, solar and wind, and (longer term) maybe even tidal resources could power such plants and give coastal states (hello drought-stricken Georgia) an almost inexhaustable source of fresh water. Not to mention it would help us deal with rising sea levels (sorry, bad joke).
The other area where renewables could help is deep water pumps. A lot of areas around the country have deep water reservoirs that are expensive to tap and require fuel to harvest. Using wind and solar power would dramatically cut costs for farmers and reduce the strain on reservoirs, rivers and other irrigation options.
If you are marketers in the aforementioned areas, this is a prime time to educate the market and government regulators about the viability of such technologies to generate sales leads and stimulate new investment. It will be interesting to see if either of these areas get any interest at the IDG GreenXchange event or Solar Power 2008. By then, California will be five months into an official drought and no doubt there will be plenty of discussion about the role renewables can play in water shortages.
, global warming
, solar power 2008
, water pumps
Posted by Jason Morris on June 5, 2008 at 10:43 AM
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After a busy May split up by a Yellowstone trip (and two Grizzly sightings) I am back in the saddle on Renewablog pledging to do 8.3 percent more green posts in Q3 than I did in Q2. Why? Because green gets a premium everywhere these days.
A new survey commissioned by BioCycle (and executed by Schwartz client Marketools) shows that consumers are willing to spend $8.30 more on a $100 product if it is made from recycled goods or helps the environment. This brings the total of such goods to $150 when you also factor in California sales tax.
All kidding aside, this is a great sign that even during a softening economy people are still willing to open their wallets for greener goods and services. In fact, the survey also shows that seven out of ten respondents are willing to pay that premium, so it is not just a small subset of people throwing off the average.
This is good news for the green marketer.
, green marketer
, recycled goods
Posted by Jason Morris on June 4, 2008 at 8:13 PM
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