Israel Voted Best Place on the Planet for Clean Tech Entrepreneurs
According to a study released by Cleantech Group and the World Wildlife Fund, Israel is the best place for clean technology entrepreneurs to blossom. The study determined that the nation has exactly what it takes to foster innovation, citing the examples set by wastewater engineers Emefcy and Seed technology firm Kajima.
Founded in 2008 and based in Caesarea, Emefcy develops advanced energy efficient wastewater treatment technologies for municipal and industrial plants. Kaiima, a leading genetics and breeding technology company headquartered in the lower Galilee, raised more than $65 million in equity in September of 2013.
Finland rated the second best and America finished third, while there are signs that China, India and Brazil are beginning to offer improving markets for new businesses.
World Wildlife Fund’s head of climate Samantha Smith commented on the study by saying, “International climate change negotiations are not delivering sufficiently on the challenge to avoid catastrophic climate change, which make accelerated investments in solutions by business, financial institutions, countries and cities even more crucial. Understanding these innovation processes is important in order to accelerate increase of the ‘good’ as a complement to the establishment of national climate targets and carbon caps that address a more rapid decrease of the ‘bad.’”
The study covered 40 countries, including all of the G20. The study centered on 15 indicators relating to a country’s ability to create and commercialize innovation. “The result is an index which measures each one’s potential—relative to their economic size—to produce entrepreneurial clean tech start-up companies who will commercialize clean technology innovations over the next ten years,” said Richard Youngman, managing director of Europe and Asia for Cleantech Group.
Other companies that made the top 10 include Sweden (4), Denmark (5), the UK (6) and Ireland (10). Ireland anticipates that clean tech jobs will grow to 80,000 in the country by the year 2020.
While China (19), India (21) and Brazil (25) scored somewhat poorly, the report indicates that their positions will improve due to the strong potential for growth and development, given their high levels of pollution. Saudi Arabia (33) and Russia—last on the list at 40—receive praise for their efforts, as both countries have demonstrated significant moves towards clean technology over the last few years.
According to a press release from the World Wildlife Fund, the index used in the study demonstrates that countries can get ahead if they “are able to adapt to the growing demand for renewable energy (at home and abroad); are connecting start-ups with multiple channels (e.g. multinational corporates, public procurement) to increase their success rates; and are increasing international engagement to spur widespread adoption of clean technologies.”
Michele Parad, senior analyst for the Cleantech Group, spoke of the potential for clean technology improvements by saying “many of the exciting opportunities ahead in further development and scaling up of the most innovative clean tech solutions to the global market lie in increased strategic cooperation between Start-Up Generators and Strong Commercializers.”
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.