For a while now, we’ve been hearing that the key to energy independence lies in increased funding for renewable energy and clean energy technology. There have certainly been plenty of lofty promises and ambitious proposals at local, state, and federal levels. And there have been setbacks too, with Solyndra and the Fukushima power plant perhaps the most high-profile examples of clean energy mishaps. But as gas prices escalate and emerging economies in India and China push up demand for fossil fuels, it seems logical that there’s a place for renewable energy and clean tech at the power table.
So shouldn’t the money follow?
Apparently not, according to data released by both the Clean Energy Pipeline and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. According to the Clean Energy Pipeline, investment in all manner of clean tech is down from 2010. Additionally, venture capital and private equity investment is at its lowest levels since 2009. Bloomberg’s data only paints an even more dismal picture—with investment in clean energy down 28% since the previous quarter and at its lowest since 2009.
One fact affecting financial decisions on a global scale is that most of those closed checkbooks and skittish investors are waiting to see how the US presidential election shakes out. And while there are some positive developments, particularly in South America and other emerging markets, both Bloomberg and Clean Energy Pipeline blame stagnant investment in the US on uncertainty regarding renewable energy policy in the US and Europe, as well as “fall out from renewable energy policy reforms in many European countries.”
So, what do you think? Is this just a result of an inevitable swing in the pendulum? Is political blustering to blame? Or is this just a byproduct of our current energy policy, which funnels subsidies and tax breaks to traditional power sources, while clean tech and renewable energy are left to twist in the wind?
Upcoming Forester University Webinars
April 18th, - May 25th, 2012
Sediment and Erosion Control
Master Class Series
Join industry expert and bestselling author Jerald S. Fifield, Ph.D., CISEC, CPESC and Tina R. Evans, PE, CISEC for a comprehensive 6-part online master class and workshop series (0.9 CEUs / 9 PDHs) exploring the ins and outs of effective sediment and erosion control plan design and review based on Fifield’s recently released 3rd edition of the bestselling manual Designing and Reviewing Effective Sediment and Erosion Control Plans (included in your Master Class Series package).
April – May 2012
Water Auditing Master Series
Learn the ins-and-outs of water auditing! Join 2010’s Speaker of the Year, Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for the Water Auditing Master Series, a 3-part webinar/webcast series focusing on getting you up-to-speed on the key attributes, uses, and opportunities in water auditing, as demonstrating step-by-step how to conduct a water audit, avoid the pitfalls, calculate payback periods, and incorporate these into your reports.
* Water Auditing 101: Introduction to Water Auditing
* How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls
* How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Water Audit Reports
April 18th, 2012
Evaluating Erosion, Sediment & Sedimentation
Go beyond the basics! Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the first installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series, Evaluating Erosion, Sediment, and Sedimentation, exploring the differences between erosion, sediment and sedimentation and developing an understanding of these variables allowing for the quantification of erosion and sediment yield on a construction site.
Designing Effective Sediment Containment Systems for Construction
Are your containment systems effective? Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the second installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series and the first part of our Effective Sediment Containment Systems Series, Designing Effective Sediment Containment Systems for Construction Sites, exploring a scientific and engineering assessment of parameters necessary to capture design size particles while flood flows are discharging from a containment system.
April 26 th, 2012
BMP Nutrient Sources and Transformations -
How to Optimize Nutrient Removal in SCMs
Are your Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) effectively removing nitrogen and phosphorus from runoff? Join Bill Lucas to explore how to select and design SCMs to improve nitrogen and phosphorus retention. After an overview of nitrogen and phosphorous forms, sources, and transformations, Lucas will discuss how nitrogen and phosphorus transformations can be optimized in SCMs; how to select and design SCMs for settings; and how to tailor these programs to meet TMDL requirements more cost effectively.
May 2nd, 2012
Limitations of Commonly Found Construction Site Sediment Control
Are your temporary BMPs reliable? Join Jerald S. Fifield and Tina R. Evans for the third installment of our advanced Sediment and Erosion Control Master Class Series and the second part of our Effective Sediment Containment Systems Series, Limitations of Commonly Found Construction Site Sediment Control BMPs, exploring temporary BMPs, their limitations (e.g., barrier BMPs), and the principals and practice in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of barrier BMPs.
May 3rd, 2012
How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls
Avoid the water auditing pitfalls! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for How to Conduct a Water Audit and Avoid the Pitfalls on Thurs., May 3rd to learn the step-by-step process of performing a water audit; the key information, tools, equipment, rebates, and typical pitfalls in performing successful audits; and learn how to use a custom plumbing fixture water audit spreadsheet. Learn how to successfully conduct your own water audit and avoid common water auditing pitfalls to ensure your audit goes smoothly.
May 31st, 2012
How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Water Audit Reports
Maximize your payback! Join Troy Aichele, LEED AP (O+M) of Aichele and Associates LLC for How to Calculate Water Audit Payback Periods and Write Audit Reports on Thurs., May 31st addressing the most essential skill in water auditing: how to calculate payback period and incorporate it effectively in your water audit report. Within this discussion, Aichele will explore how to calculate water audit improvement periods using a custom-built payback spreadsheet calculator; how to calculate use rates; how to incorporate savings, rebates and utility increases into your payback calculations; and how to write a water audit report letter incorporating water audit results and payback periods.