When the industry CEO group TechNet launched 10 years ago with uber-VC John Doerr, Cisco chief John Chambers and Netscape CEO Jim Barksdale at the helm, I can guarantee you that green technology was the furthest thing from those leaders' minds. Back then, it was all about shareholder litigation and education reform.
Fast forward five years. Education is still key, but attention shifts to stock options and broader competitiveness issues. The big external issue is the reverberations from 9/11.
But, well into the last year and behind the scenes, it became increasingly clear that environmental issues and energy demands will play a significant impact on TechNet's second decade. The first step along this path was the release today of the group's green tech federal policy recommendations at an event in Washington, DC. In a nice bit of symmetry and follow-through, both Doerr and Chambers helped unveil the plan at the National Press Club today.
• Double federal funding for energy research to $4 billion a year.
• Restructure tax incentives given to Big Oil and the fossil fuel industry to favor renewable energy and green tech innovation.
• Create a national renewable energy portfolio standard requiring utilities to source a percentage of their electricity from solar, wind and other green energy generation.
• Establish a national carbon trading market to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight global warming.
• Allow utilities like PG&E (PCG) to recoup their investments in renewable energy generation and transmission.
• As the largest energy buyer in the country, the federal government should spur green tech innovation through purchases of renewable energy and establish a quota for green energy consumption.
• Promote national energy efficiency standards.
Coverage (and I will update):
Frank Davies, Mercury News: "Valley CEOs Push Green Tech Agenda in Washington"
Grant Gross of IDG: "Tech Leaders Call for Green Policies"
Anne Broache, CNET Cisco Blog: "Cisco Chief Preaches Green Tech"
Dean Takahashi, Mercury News TechTalk, "TechNet Release Green Task Force Report and Policy Recommendations"
Dan Farber, ZDNet, "TechNet Rolls Out Green Tech Agenda"