President Obama Revisits LED Technology at Cree
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In an attempt to accelerate economic diversification and growth, alongside alternative and efficient energy technologies, President Obama recently visited Cree, located in Durham, NC. As a primary manufacturer of LED lighting products and compact fluorescent lights, Cree represents the critical relationship between economic growth and advanced energy technologies. LEDs are quickly gaining momentum within mainstream and green circles, and benefits associated with implementing such technology cannot be refuted.
While the President’s June 13th visit has received much mainstream attention, it is symbolic of government dedication to the environment. In 2007, President Bush and Congress implemented Light Bulb Efficiency Standards which would systematically increase efficiency of incandescent light bulbs through 2020. This macro level goal is quite admirable, but the effects for everyday Americans cannot be overstated; in particular, it is estimated that households will save at least 100 dollars per month, while carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to 17 million cars will be negated. Such vocal support of energy efficiency has revolutionized and expanded the near limitless potential for LED manufacturers such as Cree.
Creation of jobs is a natural derivative of such standards, and also a prime reason for Obama’s visits to a variety of alternative energy companies. Manufacturing facilities directly related to LED’s have cropped up throughout the continental US, creating thousands of jobs for workers of various backgrounds. Companies involved in this type of expansion include Phillips Lighting and Cree. Outside of direct job creation through such facilities, the sales side of the industry has also experienced significant growth. Such a trend represents market acceptance of technologies; government incentives have subsidized supply of such products, and clients of alternative energies have responded positively. A company like LED Saving Solutions serves as an excellent example of this development. In April 2011 the Philadelphia based company sold a record number of LED products, and sales momentum continues at an exciting rate. In context of a depressed economy, such an outcome reveals the possibilities of technological improvement.
While LED’s are significant, diversification of technology on an international level is also vital to both job creation and the green energy revolution. The President realized this economic reality, and has forged relationships with foreign countries. In January, Obama met with Chinese President Hu Jinato. “Clean Energy Research Centers” (CERC) and “Eco-Partnerships” were just two outcomes of the meetings. Such ventures seek to expand research and development into energy efficient vehicles. While the direct effects will not be noticed by the everyday American, long term relationships will foster growth in the long run.
The green energy movement holds a variety of economic opportunities. Irrespective of partisan outlook on global warming, it is difficult to refute the future of energy. Simply put, “Main Street” and “Wall Street” should realize the variety of opportunities within the energy industry ranging from job creation, energy efficiency, cost-reduction application and long term growth prospects.