Microsoft is looking to join the energy-efficient market...by producing software for building control systems, traffic management systems and water quality management systems. I am all for a more efficient driving experience...I just hope I never come to a light and see the blue light of death (syntax error).
"The whole transportation sector has huge inefficiencies that can be reduced by software. I think buildings account for something like 37 percent of greenhouse gases around the globe. If you look at the big sectors--transportation, buildings and building management, deforestation, electrical grid, and utilities--in every one of those we are looking at how software can enable innovation."--Rob Bernard, Microsoft's Chief Enviornmental Strategist
Venture capital funding is out there and it is showing signs of life in the green world. I read an article today on CNN Money about a company called Hycrete, which makes concrete more sustainable by reducing the carbon-based energy required in manufacturing and using recyclables in the actual materials. Interesting article. If the green industry today is where the computer industry was in the late 70's/early 80's, then both green innovators and green input providers alike are poised for huge growth in the marketplace (Microsoft scored big with the computer and so did Intel by supplying the processor.) I came across an article talking about green inputs being a big market mover...if I can find it, I will post it.
Well, there's no doubt that real estate has been hit hard over the last 6-12 months (residential, commercial, mortgage lending, etc.). Industries involved with building and developing infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc) have fared a bit better (See Green Trends post) especially here in Salt Lake...but the thought that keeps running through my head is who will be the first to turn things around? Green REITs? Maybe. Eventually. I would think green properties would be more desirable in the portfolio and have a leg up on traditional properties in terms of coming out of a downturn. Green properties would have lower operating costs, demand relatively higher market values, experience more demand among potential tenants, etc., which would lead me to believe that green REITs or greener REITs (REITs holding greener properties than the next REIT) would experience quicker than expected turnarounds.
When it comes to going green, the hotel industry is a little behind the commercial and residential movements but they are definitely trying to make a comeback. Part of the problem was the cost involved to retrofit an existing hotel with green components. Sometimes its just easier to start from scratch, integrating the energy efficiencies into the structure from the beginning. But as the cost to green continues to decline, hotels are finding a treasure at the end of their of income statement in the form of higher rents and lower operating costs. Even Kimpton Hotels are joining the green fray with their EarthCare program, which focuses on using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, recycled paper, and energy and water conservation (visit their website here).
I was at lunch today with my brother and we were talking about the potential law changes that are out there for residential energy credits.I decided to research a little more about it and post for those of you that may be interested.The bill that is of interest is HR 5351. It was passed by the House on February 27, 2008, and now sits with the Senate.The bill is part of the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008.Basically, under the new law, you would get a $4,000 credit for installing solar electric property and a separate $4,000 credit for installing wind energy property on residential (dwelling) units located in the United States and used as a residence by the taxpayer.If you want more detail, keep reading...