Thursday, August 17, 2006

BP's Alternative Energy investments; $8 billion over next 10 years.

Environmentalists hate 'big business'. True or not? I don't know but, I do see a significant number of blogs ranting on about big business not being a part of the greener world vision. This they do as they tap away at their keyboard, made possible by a multitude of big business ventures. Hypocritical is a word that comes to mind. Yes of course we want businesses to have an ethical approach to their operations, personnel and communities. We also like businesses that are directly investing in systems and technologies that will better our interaction with our environment; such as more efficient use of resources and better ways of dealing with waste. Even better if a business puts some money into environment related projects (e.g. protecting an area of rain forest).

It is extremely important that a large company such as BP has set up their Alternative Energy Investments vehicle because, it lifts these technologies and businesses into the 'big(ger) time' and presents them as more serious players within the energy sector. BP continues to invest, with a recent purchase of Greenlight Energy, a US wind power generation company. To check out what BP Alternative Energy is up to go to; .


At 9:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's only a small amount overall to profits and lets face facts here, in order for the company to survive in the extreme long term it needs a plan b for when the oil runs out in 50 years or so!

It's still not about being green, it's about profit in the future.

Just my thoughs

At 11:28 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Hi John

What is 'being green'? I've never heard the same answer from two different people. If we're looking at technological developments as part of resolving environmental problems (ie. to lessen our impact) then profit has to be part of the motive for those people risking their money. Yes, I agree that $800m p.a. for BP is a mere drop in their oil pool but, it's going in the right direction. BP are one of the largest solar & windpower investors in the world. The smart get ahead and in this case....we all win.

At 9:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Matt,
I would never say we all win! 'Looks out the window to see people protesting about a new wind farm!'

The technological might save the day but with some people I know finding 20c cold, I think a re think of human values is needed due to the 'it's always about profit'.

I guess the question is can we cut our environmental footprint when a global economy dictates that nearly everything has to go once round the globe before it hits the supermarket shelfs??


At 12:37 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Arh yes, the global footprint. Pete has his 'carrot' questionaire/poll on the blog here and it appears thus far that a greater percentage want the locally produced, even if it's not organic. So, there's hope for us yet! But then there's the desire for gadgets....that's another desire altogether. :-)

At 10:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I liked the 'carrot' poll and found it raised some interesting debate with some people I know who only buy organic :o)

As I sat typing a reply I was drinking a local beer (brewed in Scotland) watching a live football game from Spain and wondering where the aluminium came from to make the can!!

However, when BP try to pretend that they are an environmental company with patronising adverts using 'pretend' cab drivers and members of the public who would seem to get their environmental information from the Sun(UK paper gutter type IMO), that is why I cannot stand this token guesture towards the damage that their products have done. Maybe planting some trees in the forecourts might be better :o)

I just don't believe that we can have a techno fix to the environment, it will take a lot of changes to the way we (Western world)live and also how we relate to the rest of the world and workout a way that suits both.

The social, economic and religious problems to solve... guess I will be well dead before that happens :o)


At 9:25 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Yes but, we all use BP's products; plastics and petroleum for example. No, technological fixes aren't the only answer but, let us not forget what the wheel did for humankind. ;-)


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