Jun 04 2011

US Lagging in Investment

Published by under Student blog entries

With the exception of some considerably stubborn groups, the world is beginning to recognize clean energy investment as the most viable means of continued prosperity in the future.  The proof is in the growth rate of investment in renewable energy in the developed world.  A recent BBC article pointed out that while the US (to date) remains the largest economy in the world, we only rank third in the world in terms of dollar investment in renewables.  This revelation is troubling.  Ahead of us sit both China (1) and Germany (2).  Germany’s economy is smaller than the United State’s, but recovered more quickly from recession thanks in no small part to the self sufficiency that renewable energy provides the country.  As China prepares to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy they also are bettering their chances to sustain such economic prowess.  While the US is not doing terrible in getting the ball rolling, a lot remains to be desired.

The question is, why is the US not leading the world in the race for new technology?  The answers are as plentiful as they are uncertain.  The most obvious one I can point out is the inadequacies in the bureaucratic machine known as the government.  With the power that lobbyists have over legislators, well established and well funded fossil fuel corporations have been able to maintain status quo here more easily than in other countries where private companies have less sway.  New clean energy groups have difficulty obtaining the necessary funds to compete with the deep rooted traditional energy providers.  With the restrictions on campaign contributions to congressmen removed, I find it hard to foresee a future where this trend changes.  This is not a matter of a lack of motivation or education in America, but rather a matter of obstruction from our own government.  Reaching the top of the international investment list should be a goal for the US as we move forward, even if it is in spite of our own government.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12895157

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