Sadly, these global heat indexes, and the one breaking the records appears to be us (that is, humanity).
And for once, it actually seems as though the government and the private sector are on the same sheet of music. Various government entities are subsidizing clean energy technology research, passing common sense regulations, and sheltering the economy through an energy transition. At the same time, the private sector has stepped up to the plate both with a demand for using clean energy solutions and a plethora of technologies to meet that demand.
Whether you are an investor, a consumer, or simply a market enthusiast, these are three reasons why clean energy deserves your attention:
Skeptics of clean energy like to point their fingers at shortcomings of the available technologies, saying that they are not capable of functionally meeting energy demands. Ten years ago, that argument was understandable, if short sighted. But today, clean energy technologies have developed like most experts predicted that they would.
Vic Shao, CEO of Green Charge, a California-based energy storage company, says, "The technologies that exist today are not just prototypes for technologies that we will use tomorrow - they are actually effective today and they are capable of doing absolutely incredible things."
From solar to wind to energy storage, technology has advanced at a remarkable rate and is competitive in today's energy market. According to a report by the World Energy Council, 30 percent of the world's energy was derived from renewable sources last year. That development over such a short period of time is not just impressive, it is remarkable. The level of success already achieved in this sector should be compared to human triumphs like space exploration, computers, and modern medicine.
If you are a business junkie and enjoy watching markets rise and fall, there is a special reason to watch the clean energy market. And that is because it has immensely personal connotations for all of us.
With the rate of global warming and the rapid depletion of earth's natural resources, it is very possible that the world will no longer be a hospitable place to live in the very near future. Many scientists think that future could arrive in our lifetimes.
The global problem of climate change must be solved by entrepreneurs. Governments may be involved with regulation and stimulus plans, but entrepreneurs are the ones who need to find and monetize the solutions. It is one of the biggest challenges ever faced by the private sector. Seven billion people need food, water, electricity, and other basic necessities, and we need to find out how to make sure everyone has that without burning fossil fuels. The challenge is incredibly enormous, and yet companies all over the world are actively engaged with it and finding ingenious solutions.
When Tesla launched the Model 3, that was a win for all of us. When leaders from 195 countries signed the Paris Agreement, that was a win for all of us. When a clean energy company finds a way for us to live more sustainably, that is a win for all of us.
Sometimes the stars align for certain industries. There is a consumer demand, the technology to develop the products, support from regulatory institutions, and an over-arching need for the industry to succeed.
Clean energy has all of those. And yet there are zero guarantees of success.
"I see clean energy companies fail all the time. When we started Green Charge we knew we were up against long odds," Shao explains. "As much as everyone loves the idea of innovative solutions, we are all still pioneers, and taking that first step takes courage."
But it seems that courage can be found in unusual places. Green Charge has found that public high schools all over California have been early adopters of energy storage, not exactly your prototypical technology trend-setting institutions. Still, committed to the vision of clean energy and confident in the solution they are acquiring, high schools have become pioneers of energy storage.
That is a great story. And the clean energy industry is full of them. It is what makes clean energy the most exciting industry of our era.