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Energy | April 17, 2012 |
Lack of Sound U.S. Policies Threatens Clean Energy Lead, Report Says
A new report says that a surge in wind and solar power pushed the U.S. past China in renewable energy investment in 2011, but predicts that the U.S. edge could be short-lived in the absence of consistent, long-term policies to promote clean energy. According to the report published by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the U.S. invested more than $48 billion in clean energy sector last year — up from $34 billion in 2010 — to move past China, which invested about $45.5 billion. But that surge in U.S. investment was largely driven by developers racing to complete projects before renewable energy incentives expire, the authors of the report said. A U.S. tax break for wind energy projects will lapse in 2012. In China, meanwhile, government officials have set a target of installing 160 gigawatts of wind power and 50 gigawatts of solar power by 2020. “China is sending that important policy signal which the United States is failing to do to investors,” Phyllis Cuttino, Pew’s clean energy director told Bloomberg News. “Even though China has fallen to number two, it seems as thought investment there is going to continue at a very significant level for the foreseeable future.” The clean energy rankings were based on data from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
Photo by Russell Smith/flickr/Creative Commons
Reprinted with permission from Yale Environment 360