Greenwashing is pretending your product is greener than it is. Exhibit A: the current ‘renewable gas‘ marketing campaign/disinformation.
Brownwashing is claiming a green product is not green at all. The ‘proof’ is often made to sound legitimate by combining hopelessly out-of-date published research with outrageously pessimistic assumptions.
For example, 20 years ago, it took a lot of energy to make a very inefficient solar panel. If you then model that panel on a roof in northern Europe, you can attempt to convince people that ‘solar panels will never generate the energy used to make them!’ and ‘solar panels will never pay for themselves financially’. Whereas in 2022, up-to-date data indicates a system in Australia will fully repay its energy debt on a roof in Australia in under 12 months.
Brownwashing is the scourge of the solar industry and the environmental movement. No one likes lies, whether it’s the result of malicious lies, out-of-date or incompetent research or all three. But it shouldn’t put you off. Solar power is a proven technology that, after years in the shadows, is now mainstream. It makes economic and environmental sense no matter which way you cut it.
SolarQuotes has spent the last thirteen years cutting through the brownwashing (and some over-eager greenwashing) and seeking the truth.