Open Source Alternative Energy

This comment, on Red Hat’s new venture promoting the open source philosophy outside traditional software arenas, hits a point that has bothered me since O’Reilly started to enter the alternative energy space last year.

Take alternative energy inventions and open source them so that any company can use it to make lower costing alternative energy products. That way we get cheaper cars, cheaper fluorescent light bulbs, cheaper solar and wind powered devices, cheaper fuel cell batteries, and even the poor might be able to afford those alternative energy devices that are unavailable to them because of the high prices.

The alternative energy space is doing so much good for the world, and has such a great need for rapid innovation and change. It seems a shame that the norm is to shroud new alternative energy innovations in secrecy. Venture capitalists will always push for keeping the technology locked down until they squeeze every last dollar out of it, but in the software world they’re gradually learning that open source is not only good for the progress of technology as a whole, but also good for their profits. I wonder how long it’ll take the energy investors to catch on.