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Execs plan to boost clean-tech investments next year

Because of their future promise amid vanishing resources and long-term cost savings, the demand for renewable energy and clean technology continues despite our still-suffering economy. And a new survey by auditor and consultant Ernst & Young suggests the trend will continue.

The survey, Greenwire recently reported, indicates that business executives are indeed shrugging off concerns about the global recession and plan to boost spending on renewable energy and clean technology next year. The survey also revealed corporate spending on alternative sources of energy, energy efficient technologies and other innovations to lighten environmental impacts has risen to roughly 5 percent of annual revenues. The Greenwire article also stated that most executives participating in the study said their firms will have spent at least $10 million in clean-tech investments by next year, and more than 75 percent predicted that their spending levels will grow in 2010 and over the next five years.

The central findings show “multibillion-dollar companies have few qualms about buying clean-tech products from or otherwise partnering with nascent companies,” Ernst & Young officials conclude.

Business has become immersed in clean energy. It’s time for government to follow suit. Local, state and federal agencies make up a vast market – perhaps as large or larger than private industry – for buying equipment and systems aimed at reducing energy use.

For example, the Police Department in the city of Dallas, Texas purchased NSI client Energy Xtreme‘s power cell technology to improve gas mileage as well as reduce maintenance costs and carbon monoxide emissions. The city of New York has also embarked on a pilot program to outfit its taxicab fleet with the same systems. Such programs bring to mind an article I wrote which appeared Monday about the most recent American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) state-by-state ranking. The ACEEE has provided the report on the adoption and implementation of energy efficiency policies annually for the past three years.

The partnership with Energy Extreme could go far in putting New York and Texas in a higher standing for next year’s ACEEE ranking.

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