"California's green guru speaks out"
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CNET News Video
CNET News Video
California's green guru speaks out
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>> I don't think that we've even begun to touch the opportunities. Certainly some sectors may be a little overheated, like in this country, corn-based ethanol, where because of a little government policy that tried to provide incentives for that, a lot of investors jumped into it before they realized that corn prices would go up and that it really isn't sustainable for the environment or for the economy. We've also seen that to some degree in solar, where a lot of people have jumped on that bandwagon. And in the short-term, that's actually caused the price of solar panels to go up, until manufacturers now are starting to provide more, and that brings the price down. Mass production brings the price down. But other than those few bubbles, I would say we haven't begun to put air into the clean tech bubble. And we will do that with climate policies that will set goals for being more efficient and reducing greenhouse gases. And then, obviously, investors will follow and start filling that bubble.
>> Mm-hmm. So you see that there's money to be made in the sector?
>> There is a lot of money to be made in clean technology. We've been doing it "dirty," so to speak, with fossil fuels for a hundred years. And look at all the hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars. The biggest companies in the world today are oil companies. I think many of these companies, we won't even know their names a hundred years from now because it will be the clean technology companies of today that will define our future.
>> You mentioned -- earlier when we spoke, Phil, you mentioned that solar paint. What's that?
>> There are really exciting, new technologies coming out of laboratories and now even commercializing, things like nanotechnology that allow you to create solar paint, where you can paint a wall and the light that hits that wall is then captured and sent back to the grid. And thin film solar that's already being deployed in products that you can put into roofing tiles. You can't even tell there's a solar panel there. Or transparent, thin film that you can put on a window. Think about an office high rise, where there's not a lot of roof space to create traditional panels, but there's a lot of side space and windows. All of that could become solar collectors in the future.
>> Do you think yourself will be -- make a fortune on clean tech? Any such ideas?
>> I certainly hope so. I sit on a few Boards of Directors of companies I really believe in, and trying to guide a couple of investment firms into smart investments, and hope to share in that future with them. I think if, in 1980, you were talking to Bill Gates and you were asking about his new company, Microsoft, you could not imagine what happened in the next 20 to 25 years. And I think that's where we are today with clean technology.
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