Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I recently heard Sugar Ray Leonard being interviewed on the radio and thought of his classic fight with Tommy Hearns.  Leonard’s quick movement and death-by-a-thousand-cuts style always seemed to be more fun to root for over the kind of style used by The Hitman: powerful focused jabs that came out one-by-one and weren’t pretty but landed like slabs of concrete.   In fact, it was the predictable effectiveness of those jabs that ironically made Hearns so un-rootable.  Leonard, on the other hand, made victory seem overwhelmingly entertaining.  Where was he gonna' hit next?  What punch was coming out?  The possibilities were endless.

As clean energy gets a 21% increase in venture capital investment this quarter, a trend that only looks to accelerate in the short and long-term future, it’s clear one reason why the market is so hot is the possibilities.   Like watching Sugar Ray, no one has any idea what’s coming next.   Wind, solar, battery, hydroelectric and geothermal alternatives are all having their day in the pardon-the-expression-“sun,” with everything from retaining rings to specialized hardware rounding out a new and growing supply chain.   Exxon is even experimenting with drawing energy from algae tanks in Northern California.  Just one of these resources getting the attention of VC firms, Google, and US manufacturing giants like Ford would be considered a sign that the business world is on the cusp of change; all of them drawing this much investment at the same time means it already has changed. 

And yet, is it such a good thing to have all these scattered options?  If we rely on the same old resources, in fifteen years the world will have a 40% gap between demand and supply.  Tommy Hearns was predictable and boring, but also mighty effective at getting the job done.   No frills, no complex strategies.  Just a feint, counter-step, and then a big ole’ punch.  If investment firms collaborated, looked at the most profitable method of clean energy harvesting (right now that looks like wind turbines, which have a capacity factor of 30-40%, far more than solar’s 12-15% and more convenient than hydroelectricity) and decided to throw one massive, Tommy Hearns-hook-super-investment into that method, we would absolutely be able to meet the world’s energy demands and boost manufacturing before 2030.

Then again, Sugar Ray was fun to watch, wasn’t he?

Donal Thoms-Cappello is a freelance writer for Rotor Clip Company, Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment