The Environmental Defense Fund has just released an interesting book, called "Earth: The Sequel", subtitled "The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming". It is a message of hope, about how humankind ingenuity can "save ourselves from ourselves by getting the end of the story just right" (Fred Krupp, author and president of EDF). It is a story on how we can stop global warming through clean energy innovation by American entrepreneurs.
In it are stories about various innovations in energy production, possibly the biggest growth sector of our economy in the coming years, perhaps even right now. The book’s writing style is very accessible, especially if you like stories. It claims that: “twenty years from now some thirty-five-year-old is going to say the reason he’s a billionaire is that he read this book when he was fifteen”. Mayor Bloombergy of New York City gave it a glowing review: “Krupp and Horn have turned the doom and gloom of global warming on its head. Earth: The Sequel makes it crystal clear that we can build a low-carbon economy while unleashing American entrepreneurs to save the planet, putting optimism back into the environmental story.”
Amongst the innovative startup companies whose stories are told in this book are companies that:
• reengineered the metabolism of yeast to ferment sugar into pure petroleum (Amyris Biotechnologies, Emeryville, California)
• used nanotechnology to create a silicon powder that can then be printed like ink on thin-film solar cells, reducing cost and cell efficiently significantly (Innovalight, Sunnyvale, California)
• harnessed the up-and-down motion of ocean wave (kinetic energy) to pressurize water which then turns a turbine that generates electricity (Finavera Renewables, Vancouver)
• harnessed the geothermal potential of hot springs to produce electricity that keeps an ice museum frozen in the Alaskan summertime (Chena Power, Chena, Alaska)
To quote Fred Krupp, “nature teaches us, provides us everything -- we just have to open our eyes.” Read this book if you want to learn about innovation and investment opportunities in the growing energy sector, or if you are just curious what the leading, bleeding edge of energy innovation is like today. Many of these technologies are already powering the renewable energy portfolio of our utilities, which will only increase in the future.
Here's the trailer. And here's how to buy the book. When I get a chance to read in more details Chapter 4 and 9, which have some nuggets on car-related energy innovation, I will post another blog summarizing them. Meanwhile let us know what you think about energy innovation, and the book, if you have read it.