Little Green Companies Coming to a Planet Near You

Business Week calls them under-the-radar start-ups in alternative energy, and warns that they may not be the ground floor opportunities that investors are seeking. What’s amazing about this list, however, is the wide range of approaches these companies are taking.

Geothermal energy. Making ice at night. Cylindrical and thin film solar cells. Wind turbines that fit on a house. Ocean and river generators. A truck-top plant to convert industrial waste to biofuel. New ways to conserve, meter, and sell energy. New ways to finance solar panels. Algae for jet fuel, and that elusive clean coal technology.

Maybe none of these will work commercially. Maybe all of them. More likely, some portion of these and others that are not on the radar screen this month will be changing the way we run our homes, offices and vehicles over the next few decades.

If any of these technologies work, we could be on the verge of a new industrial revolution—one that won’t take our depleted natural resources for granted. When everyone is busy looking backwards at how we got ourselves into this financial and environmental mess, it’s exhilarating to see how we just might find out way out.

The Next Energy Innovators, BusinessWeek




Entrepinoy Banjk said:

We should continue to use geothermal energy to minimize burning fossil oil. Here in my country, the Philippines, it  is now slowly gaining ground to become one of the largest geothermal energy producer in the world. I hope this will continue and will cut 50% of our imports in oil.

August 15, 2009 7:45 AM

mark harrison said:

My business has its own water turbine (which is less intrusive than a wind turbine) and we pay for all of our energy expenses by this method. The UK government is now offering grants and rate rebates to businesses that utiise water power because it is exactly the right kind of re-useable energy that the UK will adopr over the coming years and months.

September 4, 2009 11:31 AM

The Solar Panel Guy said:

In my opinion some of these new "green" companies will be the next Microsoft or Google as we are running out of oil.

November 22, 2009 2:08 PM

Philip Rotich said:

Thanks for your informative post. I think if we all play a small part in implementing alternative energy projects we will solve the energy crisis facing our wolrd today. Many people have switched to Solar energy in my country Kenya.

January 24, 2010 9:07 PM

Michelle Waters said:

Wind energy is huge in my state -- not surprising with all that wind sweeping down the plains.

As a home business owner, I've purchased wind energy certificates to offset my regular electricity usage, but would love it if we could affordably add wind turbines to our home office.

March 21, 2010 7:20 PM
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About Lynda Lawrence

Lynda Lawrence is an innovation consultant with Ideaworks Consulting. She teaches Strategic Innovation and Design Management at the Merage School at UCI, and is an advisor to the Beall Center.