Monday, October 22, 2007

BP only Energy Co. sponsoring DOE Solar Decathlon

BP Solar Decathlon promises glimpse at cutting edge solar technology.

BP (British Petroleum) - one of the few energy companies with Petroleum right IN their name - is ironically the single energy conglomerate supporting the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon, in which teams from all over the world are invited to compete in ten contests that will establish the best overall solar home design.

The contest is scored as follows:

As you can see, this is not a challenge for just one university department, it's a broad, synergistic, multidisciplinary effort.

As part of their support for the competition, BP has created a blog in which all of the teams as well as an on-site reporter will write posts throughout the competition. Visit the site: It's quite good.

I want to throw in something extra here; not because I have to, but because I can and I should. BP is quietly present all over the alternate energy map, putting their money and their name behind all kinds of green tech. And I think we should encourage that with polite applause and interested clicks.

Now, no doubt you scoff; you think they are
only in it for the money.

And I'd agree with you. I'm sure they are, because it's a damn poor company that
isn't. But they are also in it to get first crack at what will likely be very promising technologies and people. Short term profits are all very well and good, but it seems far too few companies ever have the flexibility and foresight to look beyond the horizon of fundamental technological and social change.

They must be looking ten, twenty or thirty years down the road to what technologies MUST become profitable in order for them to profit, instead of focusing on the quarterly reports to the exclusion of all else. And that means that that much less is going to dividends or executive bonuses. In other words, the Grow Light is on in the Boardroom.

So if I were just out of college, working on my first job, I'd be thinking about tucking away a few shares of BP. It's likely to still be around when you retire.

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