Google & Renewable Energy


Google, one of the most innovative companies in the world has not been shy about its support for renewable energy. Just recently, the company had put out this cool infograph below showcasing what 2 gigawatts of its investments in renewable energy can do for the United States. This includes:

– Powering 500,000 U.S. Homes in a year.

– Car travel up to 190,000 times around the world.

Google infograph

Image Credit via Google

It seems like information technology in many cases is helping to boost renewable energies commercial potential, and vice versa. What do you  people think? hit me up via email at adamjwpg@mymts.net or on Facebook, Twitter, or on Google+.

 

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From Cleantechnica: Canada’s First Off-Shore Wind Farm Set for B.C.



Canada’s First Off-Shore Wind Farm Set for B.C. (via Clean Technica)

Canada’s first off-shore wind farm is taking shape, which is set to boost British Columbia’s renewable energy image. The multiphase project, owned by the NaiKun Wind Energy Group, will consist of 550 square feet kilometres, with a total of 396 megawatts (MW) of energy is set for phase one. A total…

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From Cleantechnica: Sungevity Seals Up $125 Million In Financing



Sungevity Seals Up $125 Million In Financing (via Clean Technica)

Sungevity, one of the top online photovoltaic (PV) retailers and solar leasing companies, recently shored up $125 million in new financing to boost its business. According to PV Magazine, $40 million comes as equity financing from Brightpath Capital Partners. Meanwhile, a “leading commercial” bank…

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Guest Post: Mobile Device Management is Increasingly Important to Security


Sometimes I will be putting up Guest Posts from special guest contributors. This post was contributed by Darren Douglas on mobile device management.

Near the end of 2012, Research in Motion announced that their up-and-coming BlackBerry 10 device had achieved government security clearance. This means the security of the mobile device is certified for use by government agencies and for the transfer of classified information across the RIM network.

US DOD

Image via Flickr, by DonkeyHotey

Mobile technology capabilities and security in mobile device management have become increasingly important to the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and other intelligence agencies. The year 2012 marked a significant year in the progression of its use. In June, the Department of Defense announced a new mobile device strategy, with three main goals:

  1. Advance DoD information infrastructure to support mobile devices
  2. Institute mobile device policies and standards
  3. Promote the use and development of DoD mobile and Web-based applications

BlackBerry 10 supports a unique program developed by RIM, called Mobile Fusion, which allows the Department of Defense flexibility and security to implement this newest strategy. Mobile Fusion is a unique mobile device management platform that provides IT managers and administrators a single interface to access management tasks for RIM, iOS and Android devices. In a business world where it is increasingly commonplace for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy, Mobile Fusion will be imperative for both business enterprises and government agencies.

Tablet

Figure Image via Flickr, by mikecogh

Alan Panezic, the Vice President of Enterprise Product Management and Marketing rightly notes, “For businesses and government, managing a mix of mobile devices on any scale is chaotic. Organizations face pressure to allow employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, and they are looking to RIM as the global leader in the enterprise mobility space to solve that problem.”

BlackBerry’s Enterprise Server has been a crowning attribute for RIM, and has given it impressive reliability amongst large business clients. Now, Mobile Fusion includes non-RIM devices on the server, making mobile device management even easier for companies. This gives RIM a huge advantage in the enterprise marketplace. Not only do businesses enjoy high-grade security, but also all-inclusive management capabilities that are not so seamlessly integrated on other networks.

smart phone

Figure Image via Flickr, by IntelFreePress

Mobile Fusion provides comprehensive functionality for managers, including remote asset, configuration, security, application, and policy management, security and protection for lost or stolen devices. RIM is a global leader in mobile device security, and Mobile Fusion supports remote security and protection for lost or stolen devices, imperative for entities like the Department of Defense and other intelligence enterprises.

Importantly, Mobile Fusion is a dynamic program. RIM recently released an update that enhances manageability features and increased functionality with iOS and Android devices. While some argue RIM’s inclusivity is a danger to BlackBerry, it can only be beneficial for RIM as a whole. Enterprises will need the security of RIM’s network and the ability for the IT departments to manage devices with other operating systems, making Mobile Fusion RIM’s secret weapon to sustainability, growth and further entrenched reliability. 

Book Review: Rooftop Revolution By Danny Kennedy


photo (2)

Rooftop Revolution Book Cover

Released last fall before the US presidential elections, Rooftop Revolution, written by Sungevity CEO and former Greenpeace activist Danny Kennedy is a clear concise book on the potential solar energy has in advancing a sustainable economy that should please environmental activists and sustainability entrepreneurs alike.

Kennedy at the start explores the false pretensions the fossil fuel industry comes up with against solar (happily known as King CONG-Coal, Oil, Nuclear, Gas). In the prologue, Kennedy goes into detail on why fossil fuels are inefficient (namely blasting off mountain tops for coal), while causing extensive environmental damage. He also cites the very dangerous potential of oil rigs causing serious environmental damage, thanks to incidents like the BP oil spill in spring, 2010. While nuclear energy may have no carbon emissions, the problems with storage, waste, and the accident in Fukushima and Chernobyl, Kennedy suggests nuclear energy is a definite no go for a clean energy option.

Meanwhile, the author notes, 20 days of sunshine has the same amount of energy potential, than all of the earth’s natural gas, oil, and coal supplies. That is something that perhaps all countries should take heed of if they are looking to provide energy in an ever-increasing energy hungry appetite.

And it’s not just solar energy that is good for the environment but also good for the economy, also. Similar to the information technology revolution, The Rooftop Revolution, Kennedy believes solar can do the same to boost an economy that lost jobs from CONG industries. He points despite the massive profits CONG industries have made, they employ less than twice as many bodies in clean energy industries. Given the number of solar jobs increased by 13.2% in 2012, it’s no wonder why we are seeing such bullishness in the former Greenpeace activists hope for this emerging industry.

Kennedy believes ten things will occur to help the “Solar Ascent,” including:

  1. Lower prices
  2. Job opportunities
  3. The speed in which solar energy is growing
  4. Scalability
  5. Increased access (important for emerging markets to leapfrog CONG energy)
  6. Value
  7. Climate change concerns
  8. Popularity
  9. National Defense
  10. Evolution.

It’s these ten things plus his knack for storytelling, maturing from an activist to a premier clean-tech entrepreneur (Kennedy did his fair share of civil disobedience against fossil fuel organizations in his younger days) that makes you want to read this book. His belief, that while protest can work, being an entrepreneur and changing the world through private enterprise provides some very key lessons both environmental activists and business students should take heart.

There are some minor flaws with the book. They include: looking at the idea of how the natural gas boom will affect solar prices in the short-term. There is also Kennedy’s suggestions of China’s low cost solar manufacturing could irk some union people (despite helping to decrease costs of photovoltaic panels) detract some of the good points from the book.

Nonetheless, environmental activists, business people, cleantech geeks, and those who want to know how solar energy works should get this for their bookshelf.

Generation Y and the Changing Workforce


I have covered Generation Y (aka Generation Screwed) numerous times on this blog, often trying to show both sides of the coin on were my generation is headed.

On a boring Saturday night, on my computer, I pulled a fantastic infograph on some interesting Gen Y stats from Workshare.com (Below).

Gen-Y-infographic

Image Credit: Workforce.com

Workforce notes we are the most educated generation ever, along with being the most tech savy. Heck, 90% of generation Yers own an electronic device.

But here are some things that this infograph should make you think about, now, but in the future.

This generation, unlike others want meaning in their workplace. We want constant feedback from our bosses. We do not tolerate a lot of garbage. We want a high quality workplace. We want environmental sustainability. We are even wanting to accept lesser money for more challenges (which makes me wonder why the rise of interns. Read Intern Nation).

While it sucks now, and it may get worse, perhaps something to consider is by 2025, 75% of the world’s workforce (here is hoping) will consist of generation Yers.

If this is true, and as of 2012, only 45% of American information workforce in a corporate office, there could be a lot of potential to see a lot of game changing entrepreneurship, and a lot of startups. This may very well be the most entrepreneurial generation also.

Will this mean a new wealth boom in the future? I don’t know. It’s doubtful in the short-term. Macleans a few weeks ago noted millennials are the New Underclass citing the huge economic and financial challenges slapping them in the face:

Equally troubling, university-educated Canadians experienced a relative increase in unemployment between 1997 and 2005 and a corresponding dip in relative wages, according to a federal government study. By contrast, those with a college, or even a high school education, managed to improve (or at least maintain) their outlook, relative to other workers. In fact, the only group that experienced a similar relative increase in unemployment during the period were those Canadians without even a high school diploma.

………….. It wasn’t always so bleak for Canada’s youth. Wayne Lewchuk, a professor of labour studies at Hamilton’s McMaster University, grew up in Windsor, Ont., and recalls that many of his university buddies took assembly-plant jobs with Chrysler and Ford after graduating in the mid-1970s. The work wasn’t great, but it paid well and the benefits were good. “If you’re measuring life purely by your material standard of living, then they’ve had a much better life than I’ve had,” says Lewchuk, who instead went back to school to pursue two more degrees. “They started working 10 years before I even got my first paycheque.”

Of course, most of those automotive jobs are long gone. So are many other relatively high-paying factory jobs in Ontario and Quebec. They are casualties of globalization and Canada’s subsequent shift toward a “knowledge-based economy”—one that’s built on providing services instead of forging things out of plastic and steel. At the same time, the global commodity boom that began around 2003 refocused attention on Canada’s vast resources, particularly oil and gas. But despite the billions poured into Alberta’s oil sands, there’s mounting evidence to suggest that Canadian workers, collectively, are no better off. The CGA study, for example, suggested the proportion of workers employed in industries with above-average earnings declined between 1991 and 2011, despite strong overall growth in the economy.

Wages are only part of the picture. Unions, once the guarantor of a comfortable middle-class lifestyle, have shrivelled as employers cut back on pension and health care benefits in a bid to better compete in a globalized market. Indeed, the very concept of a gold-plated, defined-benefit corporate pension plan (which guarantees a certain level of retirement income) has all but disappeared. A recent study by the debt-rating agency, Dominion Bond Rating Service, found that as many as two-thirds of North American defined-benefit plans are underfunded. Many companies are pushing new employees over to less costly and less comprehensive defined-contribution plans.”

Will millennials/Generation Y have the same standard of living like Baby Boomers? Let me know what you think, hit me up by email at adamjwpg@mymts.net, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.

The State of B2B Social Media Marketing: Infographic


With one month into 2013, it’s always interesting to look at trends going on, namely in the world of social media. Being a blogger and renewable energy writer for CleanTechnica, I sign up for various social media marketing literature. One email I got from Marketo discussed the trends in the world of Business to Business Marketing (B2B) with an intriguing infograph (see below).

contentious-state-of-b2b-content-marketing

Image Credit: Marketo

If you are in the business of being a social media coordinator here is some of the numbers to pay attention to:

-In 2012, 87% of companies were using social media, up 13% From 2011 at 74%.

– Five main social media outlets are used for B2B, including: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+.

LinkedIn was the most use by companies in their marketing mix (83%), followed next by Twitter (80%), Facebook (80%), YouTube (61%), and Google+ (39%).

Jason Miller of Marketo mentions while content marketing is the key force for companies in their social media mix, many companies are still trying to figure what works for them:

It clearly shows us that content marketing is not a fad and will continue to be a driving force for marketers, while at the same time indicating that the majority are still struggling to find a process that works for them and are having trouble garnering buy in from the C-suites.

Is B2B social media marketing a fad? Or will the trend for more companies to use this continue? What does everyone think? Drop me a line at adamjwpg@mymts.net, Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.