Many of the world’s leading executives and investors believe in a strong connection between the economy and the environment. Talk of a “political battle” between the two major focal areas is mere “nonsense,” says Mark Vachon, Vice President of GE’s Ecomagination program.
In a recent interview, Vachon shot down the “false dichotomy” that some are trying to present between attaining profits and respecting our planet. “There’s this theory that you have to pick one: economics or environmental performance. That’s nonsense. Innovation is the way you can have both.”
Over $5 billion has been invested in renewable energy, efficiency and smart grid technologies as part of GE’s Ecomagination program. By 2015, GE plans to double investments in the sector to $10 billion. These investments have paid off handsomely, noted Vachon. With $85 billion in revenue, GE’s cleantech investments have doubled the performance of the rest of its portfolio.
“Companies that don’t get this, really risk becoming irrelevant to the marketplace. Whether you believe it for climate change or just the markets that are developing, it is our responsibility as businesses to be responsible to the design signal that the world is telling us.”
The trend is undeniable. Investments in clean energy and related technologies are accelerating. In 2011, investments in clean energy trumped those in fossil fuels for the first time. In total, $260 billion was funneled into the clean energy sector. Since 2004, cumulative investment numbers over $1 trillion dollars.
Based on our current path, Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts $400 billion will be invested annually in proven renewable energy technologies such as solar PV, solar thermal, wind energy and geothermal by 2020. Many sophisticated investors view clean energy as one of the greatest wealth creation opportunities in history.
For more information on how we invest in clean energy, please visit us here.