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Clean Technology

Clean technology includes the wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels, electric vehicles and information technology sectors. It is a means to create electricity and fuels with a smaller environmental footprint. It includes the trend to making green buildings that are more energy efficient and environmentally benign. The whole sector is helpfully surveyed by Wikipedia.

Over the past two years, the area has gone through a huge boom as nearly everyone recognizes that climate change is a serious problem, and that transport, energy generation and heating technologies which produce far less carbon are going to be part of the solution.

Jewish Climate Initiative recognizes (like nearly everyone else) that human, technological ingenuity will provide a significant part of the solution to climate change. Unlike clean technology zealots we don’t think it will provide the whole solution. Spiritual and behavioural change will be necessary too.

Technology that could make a big difference already exists. Measures such as the following are technically possible, but require political will to be implemented.

  1. Massively improve the energy efficiency requirements for homes, commercial buildings and new construction.
  2. Substantially reduce energy loss in power generation.
  3. Develop and implement technology to capture the CO2 produced by coal power plants and store it underground.
  4. Substantially increase the proportion of our power that comes from renewable sources, e.g. wind, waves and solar.
  5. Double or triple the average fuel economy of our cars and trucks.
  6. Introduce hybrid vehicle technology on a wide scale.
  7. Invest in improving public transport systems.

Clean technology is a diverse and fast moving field; some useful resources for keeping up to date include:

  • Climate Progress is an excellent site on clean tech.
  • Clean Edge is a good resource on business developments in the clean tech field.
  • Seeking Alpha a stock market analysis site that’s particularly good on the clean tech sector.
  • Worldchanging is a visionary and highly influential site showcasing the “bright green” approach to environmental. Bright greens believe that smart design and path-breaking technology for our cities, communities, business and transport networks can turn around climate change while enabling us to live lives that are a lot more fun, cool and interesting. No commuting, no clutter, no waste…who wouldn’t want that?

Clean Technology in Israel.

Israel is a world leader in clean technology. Driven by natural resource constraints and a highly educated workforce, the country has pioneered major clean technologies in the water, solar power and geothermal fields and today has around 350 companies in the sector.

Some Israeli leaders in the field include:

  • Project Better Place is a revolutionary initiative to create a global network for electric cars.
  • Luz-Solel, who developed the technology for the world’s largest solar power plant:
  • Netafim, whose drip irrigation technology is in use across the developing world.
  • Ormat, pioneers in geothermal energy.
  • Luz2, the reborn company created by the original Luz team

Israel Clean Tech and Terrvp are among the venture capital companies that have emerged to help fund the proliferation of clean tech startups in Israel.

Jewish Climate Initiative believes that despite this success, there is far greater potential in the Israel Clean Technology sector for producing innovative solutions to climate change.