CleanTechnica Is 16 Years Old!

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Today is CleanTechnica‘s 16th birthday! It was this day, February 9, in 2008 that CleanTechnica‘s first article was published. I have to say that I was not yet on the team, and I’m quite sure I had not even heard of “blogging” at the time. It was 7 months later that I’d become a blogger on a sister site in what was then the “Green Options Media” network, and then it was in mid-2009 when I would first write on CleanTechnica. One year later, in mid-2010, I started running the site. And, as they say, the rest is history! But enough about me, let’s take a moment to reflect a bit more on the site’s history.

I found it quite interesting, and hilarious, to actually read article #1 — I don’t think I’d ever read it before. Here’s what it said:

Welcome to CleanTechnica, where clean technology comes alive. You can look to us to deliver relevant content for the green curious to the green expert. With a diverse writing team, we’ll keep you informed on topics that can shape our world. Building on the insightful articles that Green Options has supplied readers on this topic, you can count on CleanTechnica to provide vibrant information on:

  • Specific Applications of Biofuels
  • Interviews Covering Urgent Topics
  • Breakthrough Technologies
  • A Skeptical Eye When Necessary
  • Federal Policy That Shapes Energy Use
  • Inspiring Case Studies
  • Clean Coal?
  • Offshore Wind Energy Controversy
  • Solar Energy Advances
  • Challenges with Emerging Technologies
  • How to Benefit Both the Economy and the Environment
  • Keeping an Eye on the Big Boys
  • Garbage Strategies
  • Clean Tech Investments

Stay tuned to what we have in store for you.

As is quite obvious, electric vehicles are the prime cleantech topic of the day here, and there was no mention of them in 2008. In fact, the first topic that was mentioned was biofuels! What a different time that was, and how the world has changed! I think just reflecting on the fact that electric vehicles barely existed in 2008 and are now hitting more than a million and a half sales a month is a mind blowing opportunity.

Naturally, there have also been humongous advances in solar power, wind power, and other cleantech sectors. Actually, solar and wind got so advanced and mature that we were saying the same things month after month and that probably helped us to get a little too distracted by shiny new EVs, autonomous driving, and batteries. But we’re trying to balance that out with more renewable energy coverage again in coming months.

We’ve covered huge solar booms in different markets — Germany, Australia, California, and more. We’ve covered the European and Chinese EV markets going from essentially zero electric vehicle sales to pure electric vehicles accounting for 16% of the European market and 25% of the Chinese market (and plugin vehicles accounting for 24% and 37%, respectively). We’ve covered the first, mind-blowing battery gigafactory from Tesla, and then dozens of  other battery gigafactories from various players around the world. We’ve covered Tesla delivering its first Model S, and we’ve covered the Tesla Model Y becoming the best selling automobile of any kind in the world.

We’ve published nearly 60,000 articles. We’ve reached more than 150 million readers. So, there’s a lot to say. It’s hard to fathom where to begin and what to mention. One thing to highlight through all of that is that we’ve been an independent media outlet for all but one of those years (for one year in 2009/2010, we were owned by a solar lead-gen company called One Block Off The Grid). We have worked exceptionally hard to not be inappropriately influenced by big money in the industry — and competing industries — as the world has changed. And we have long run with the idea that a great deal of writer freedom and the ability to explore what others are not exploring bring the best results to the top. But that’s not all….

I know that the vast majority of people only read the articles, and that’s fine. However, one thing we spent years cultivating was a really good, high quality, and usefully moderated community of commenters, and I actually think that’s our #1 best feature and asset. I have learned so much from commenters over the past decade and a half that I can’t even imagine how much less I’d know if not for all of you. And the same goes for many other writers. High-quality commenters have been our guiding light, and I can’t express my appreciation for you enough.

Thank you to everyone who has been a loyal reader. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to discussions. Thank you to all of the passionate writers and behind-the-scenes crew. And, a big, big, BIG thank you to all of our paying subscribers. For our current work, we rely on a lot of ad revenue and sponsorship revenue. However, we also now rely on a lot of regular subscriber revenue, and that’s how we like it! The more we have a stable supply of subscriber revenue, the more stable our operations are, and the more we are 100% focused on serving one customer — you. Well, that’s a lot of customers, not just one, but you get the point. It’s nice to have our core revenue coming from our core customer base — loyal readers.

So, keep being cool, keep sending us your feedback (good and bad), keep commenting and supporting the discussion, keep sharing on whatever social networks you use, and — if you can — help support our work directly (monthly support is ideal, but nice one-time donations are also appreciated of course).

Chip in a few dollars a month to help support independent cleantech coverage that helps to accelerate the cleantech revolution!

And Thank You!!! CleanTechnica is nothing without all of you. And the past 16 years would have been a lot more boring!

I’m heading out right now to an annual elementary school daddy–daughter dance with my girls. And it blows my mind that: 1) CleanTechnica is older than them! 2) It won’t be too long and they’ll be having their own Sweet 16 birthday parties. Oh my. That’s scary!! Any tips on making it from elementary school through high school would certainly be appreciated.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

Zachary Shahan has 7293 posts and counting. See all posts by Zachary Shahan