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Energy Efficiency, Energy Savings, Alternative Energy – Developing New Industries for America & the World – James W. Johnston

This brief outline contemplates a plan designed to assist the nation in revitalizing the economy through the promotion and development of new industries that are consistent with the administration’s policies and plans, specifically those relating to energy savings, energy efficiency and alternative energy sources.

1.       Consider current economic conditions. Much of the nation continues to be mired in a recession. Historians and economists agree that the most effective strategy for combatting an economic downturn and “digging out” is by encouraging spending by businesses and individuals, thereby sparking commerce and job growth. Right now (May 2010), while people and businesses may be spending more than they were a year ago, the levels do not approach what it will take to heal the economy. The following plan is designed to consolidate and identify a new ‘theater of wealth’ by encouraging people and businesses to get excited by a shared cause and start spending again.   

2.       “Start Spending America … Wisely”. The American people and American businesses need an emotional reason to start spending again. When presented with the hard facts, everyone knows that spending is important, and signs of the thaw can be seen. Nonetheless, there needs to be a dramatic, overall change in attitude; we need something that will imbue people with a sense of hope and confidence. The words “depression and recession” convey a state of fear; we need to replace the pervading sense of foreboding with the feelings of courage and confidence that are essential to spending and a healthy society.

3.       The New Energy Economy. With its many facets already underway, including energy savings, energy conservation, energy efficiency, environmental awareness, and the many opportunities to develop of alternative sources of energy, the “new energy economy” is of sufficient potential size, importance and prominence enough fit the bill. Our job is to formulate a plan that has the potential to create the spark that it takes to galvanize public attention and commitment to energy’s opportunities. There are sufficient existing, emerging and yet-to-be-discovered energy-related activities to engage and unite the attention of many interests. Further, this is precisely the kind of “big challenge” that is grist for the American mill and our people’s inherent ingenuity

4.       A forest fire begins with a single spark. Something has to happen that will capture the attention of every talk show host, every magazine and news story, every stand-up comedian, every television and newspaper editor, etc. The story must be the kinds that excites people and gets them talking – it must be an everyman, rags-to-riches, Horatio Alger, Cinderella, underdog wins, overcoming-all-the-odds, long-awaited hit, hero gets the big payoff type story that is so truly American. The story must also support the current administration’s plans.

5.       Political Agenda. When framing the solution and telling the story, it is essential to do so within the context of the political and social goals held by the administration. Regardless of political affiliation and partisan concerns, we all can be on the same page. Who cannot agree with the following agenda items?

a.       Heal the economy.

b.      Save energy, develop the alternative energy industry and infrastructure.

c.       Create new jobs.

d.      Adopt diplomatic initiatives that will restore worldwide respect for America.

6.       The Boom – Creating a new theater of wealth. There are few things more exciting than creating wealth and making money. Hence, something has to happen that will engage enough American constituencies so that their attention is focused on becoming a part of / helping to build this new industry. In essence, the goal is to create a “boom” perception of the opportunity. For historical precedents, consider the East Texas Oil Field (1930s), the Go-Go 90s Internet, and the 49er Gold Rush (1849)—others examples abound. In every case, wealth was readily available for those willing to work for it.

7.       National and International Implications. American ingenuity is already developing a broad spectrum of energy savings and “self-sufficiency” technologies; there are markets for these products abroad. This is a lengthy discussion in and of itself, but can be an important element in the overall plan because of political and diplomatic implications and big picture messaging.

8.       Interested Constituencies. Over the next decade, venture capitalists, angel investors, other sources of investment capital, non-profits and the government will pour tens of billions of dollars into thousands of “new-energy-related” entities and opportunities. Of these thousands of enterprises, a small percentage will actually succeed and smaller percentage still will flourish. There is a role for an entity that can serve the needs of each of the many “new energy” constituencies and interest groups, including venture capitalists, new and established companies, their industrial, commercial and residential customers, and even the government.

a.       Provide buyers with guidance regarding product selection.

b.      Endorse and represent best-of-breed products, services and companies.

c.       Generate and distribute leads.

d.      Serve as an industry expert for the media.

e.      Serve as a "new energy sector hedge" for investors.

f.        Source of capital and expertise.

9.       Technology, Product and Service Selection. The new energy economy will require a variety of different technologies that can be integrated into a cohesive solution that addresses not only energy, but a host of other related issues. This is a discussion unto itself. More on this to come.

10.   First Deals. Collectively, we have proven technology that can be broadly deployed immediately and in a way that will capture national attention. In order to be effective, it is suggested that we simultaneously undertake transactions that serve the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

11.   Job Creation. If we scale up as I envision, it is reasonable to expect that our activities will create jobs in the following areas:

a.       Manufacturing, Contract Manufacturing, etc.

b.      Electrical parts including capacitors, breakers, wire, terminators, fuses, etc.

c.       Installation trades, including electricians and HVAC contractors

d.      Scientific Research

e.      Metal shops and powder coating

f.        Sales

g.       Advertising and PR

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