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Question



How do we convince industry, particularly defense industries, to convert to new renewable technology?

Key Words

industry, defense industries, economic conversion, renewable technology, option, environment, obsolete, design focus, civilian needs, renewable energy production and distribution, government contracts, tax incentives, reeducation, retraining, employers, employees, industry, obsolete

Answer

If there is an opportunity to save money or make it, capitalism will move us in that direction. When you have an option that's better economically and better for the environment, then older technologies will become obsolete.

Today, there are many corporate leaders who are launching renewable divisions (Shell, BP, Sharp and GE), and others becoming large customers of green power (Toyota, Body Shop, Patagonia).

The economic conversion of defense industries to civilian needs is a challenging process, but has been done many times before. If you look at the skill sets of these firms: high tech, systems integration and materials fabrication — these are the same requirements for the engineering of electricity generation systems (solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hydro, and ocean energy) and high voltage transmission networks.

Research shows that employment in defense industries normally increases when a firm transitions to a non-military activity. The very high-tech, high wage business of defense can actually employ greater numbers of people in the civilian sector.

Re-education/retraining of employers and employees is important, so when an old industry becomes obsolete, they can move swiftly into the new field.

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