Michael Keane says he viewed wind power as a "science experiment" when he was working his way up the corporate ladder following his graduation in accounting from Illinois State University in 1977.
Some twenty-five years later, he found himself as an executive at Clipper Windpower, a firm that was one of the first to produce wind turbines so ubiquitous today.
Keane appeared on GLT's Sound Ideas prior to delivering the keynote address Thursday at Illinois State's Business Week activities.
"That technology has evolved to where it's providing a real significant part of new energy capacity in the U.S.," said Keane. Keane's most recent position was with Genomatica, a company that develops bio-based processes to produce chemicals with greater sustainability than using petroleum-based feedstocks.
Keane said it's important to view sustainability from an individual standpoint, as companies, and through the benefit of technologies on natural resources. "Individually, we have to keep ourselves ready to adapt to different paths," he said.
"Corporations have to have the proper plans to have growth and liquidity or else great ideas may die on the vine." Keane said some great current technologies provide a positive impact on the environment. "These technologies are using renewable resources and are therefore fully sustaining."