American engineers pioneered green energy technology and production; resisting renewable energy mandates at this stage would be like striking out with the bases loaded with MLB scouts watching.
United States Falling Behind in Green Energy Investments
Gerry Sposato | Argosy Wind Power
Though the Unites States is proud to be the world’s largest manufacturer of green energy technology, our competitors have quickly closed the gap between us in total dollar investments in clean energy. For the first time ever, China has now surpassed us; we need to change this immediately. The jobs created by renewable energy are plentiful. With the clean energy sector adding jobs at six times the rate of the rest of the economy, it is an absolute vital part in American life. The U.S. is providing the world with leading renewable energy technologies, yet failing to use them in practical green energy applications domestically.
The United States supplies the rest of the world with the green technologies they are using to beat us in the field. It is wonderful that the world as a whole is welcoming clean energy solutions with open arms, competition keeps the green energy industry playing field exciting.
The U.S. Needs Renewable Energy Mandates
If we are to continue as a world leader in green energy, government policy and mandates regulating green energy consumption need to be adopted. Competing nations may start to manufacture and provide equal or superior technologies while the U.S drags it feet on the issue.
We’re exporting wind turbines, solar panels, and wave energy technologies around the globe and competitors are eventually going to figure out how to replicate the technology we handed them. We once led the world in green energy consumption, but have dropped to 10th on the list of countries utilizing clean energy applications.
The rate of growth in the renewable energy industry is dismal. The United States is just not keeping up with the rest of the world in terms of growth in green energy, and if we don’t act quickly it we will not be able to catch up.
South Korea experienced a percent change of about 20,000% - which means the countries green energy grew 200 times of what it previously was. This compares quite drastically against the US, who only experienced a growth of 4 times of the green energy output.
In 2011, the United States obtained a small 2.7% of energy from green energy sources. This also doesn’t quite stand up to other countries around the world, who have managed to acquire anywhere from 15%-30% of their total energy needs from clean energy sources. Increases can be made through federal, state and local tax incentives, but an introduction of large scale reductions in emissions have met opposition in Congress.
Some countries have already established future deadlines for converting all power consumption to 100% renewable, and a few have already converted to 100% renewable power.
100% Renewable Power Campaigns
The European Union (EU) has already discussed 100% renewable goals, implementing a mandatory 100% crossover to green energy consumption by 2020. Government incentives such as the Feed in Tariff (FIT) in the UK are helping European countries reach this goal faster and more affordably by subsidizing green energy programs. Several countries in South America have also begun 100% renewable campaigns and many are poised to achieve their goals in the very near future. Visit the Go 100% website to learn more about pledging a renewable energy conversion date for your organization or community.
So how can the country that invented and perfected solar and wind power technologies get back on track in terms of growth and progress?
- Create National Renewable Energy Mandates
- Give Green Energy Manufacturers & Investors Rebates
- Reward Renewable Energy Consumers with Incentives
Most of our other competitors have created standards that mandate the percentage of energy that has to be green by a certain date. While many states and specific metropolitan areas have started to focus a bit harder on making their surroundings greener, progress has a nation has been stinted by partisan politics. Many critics of policy believe that the growth of green energy sources should be left to the private sector. The lobbying power of the oil & gas industry serves as a major hurdle to green energy legislation as well.
Critics argue that in states with green energy mandates, American consumers pay an average of 30 percent more for their electricity. The taxpayer dollars that have been pushed into government-supported green energy companies goes wasted. While these arguments might seem reasonable to some, one only has to look at successful green energy power grid integration projects from our European friends across the pond to see why green energy adoption and policy is struggling domestically. Green energy incentive programs and government rebates in Europe make it affordable and sometimes profitable to adopt renewable energy, while American government policy on green energy is non-existent by comparison.
Logical Energy Solutions
The renewable energy movement is much more about finding a sustainable energy source for the future, and less about whether it temporarily costs more to produce. Not everything is about pure economic wealth, we must plan for the future and not just create policy that best suits present financial convenience. Our world is currently on a crash course for an energy crisis and environmental implosion; an alternate source of energy must be found.
Fossil fuels are finite; logic dictates that we must find a plan B. Scarcity will cause energy costs to go through the roof in the near future if an alternative energy source is not found and perfected. Those complaining about the high costs of electricity associated with green energy mandates will have little room to complain when this happens.
Killing Three Birds with One Stone
We are currently at the cusp of creating a solution that will solve a few of the world’s problems: global warming, air pollution, and foreign dependence. Domestically the adoption of renewable energy mandates would increase the demand for and production of green energy power generation products such as wind turbines and solar panels, creating thousands of new job opportunities across the country. American engineers pioneered green energy technology and production; resisting renewable energy mandates at this stage would be like striking out with the bases loaded with MLB scouts watching.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of AltEnergyMag
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