This article is written by Nicolas Paris.
Startup Weekend is coming to Liège, Belgium for the first ‘Cleantech’ event in the region. Are you passionate about recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, or lighting? Then this event is for you! Sign up now, there are tickets available here.
Cleantech is new technology and related business models that offer competitive returns for investors and customers while providing solutions to global challenges. Cleantech provides superior performance at lower costs, while greatly reducing or eliminating negative ecological impact, at the same time as improving the productive and responsible use of natural resources.
Clean technology includes recycling, renewable energy (wind power, solar power, biomass, hydropower, biofuels), information technology, green transportation, electric motors, green chemistry, lighting, and many other appliances that are now more energy efficient. It is a means to create electricity and fuels, with a smaller environmental footprint and minimize pollution.
Since the 1990s, interest in clean technologies has increased with two trends:
- A decline in the relative cost of these technologies
- A growing understanding of the link between industrial designs used in the 20th century, such as fossil fuel power plants and the internal combustion engine, and the impact on earth systems resulting from their use
“Cleantech,” should not be confused with the terms environmental technology or “greentech” popularized in the 1970s and 80s. While greentech has traditionally only represented small, regulatory-driven markets, cleantech is driven by productivity-based purchasing, and therefore enjoys broader market economics, with greater financial upside and sustainability.
With the acquisition on Nest Labs a few months ago for the massive amount $3.2 billion, Google might be on its way to becoming a giant cleantech utility.
Indeed, the smart learning thermostat of Nest connects your air conditioning and heating device to the internet and makes it accessible via your phone and computer. One day, your heating and cooling patterns might feed a system-wide prediction mechanism for when and where energy is needed. This would lead to an optimized energy use in every home!
But to get there, we need smart, motivated people with entrepreneurial energy to build cleantech startups!
So register now and join the global movement!