The United States is rapidly falling behind in the race to be positioned for a properous 21st century. Decades ago, when it came to energy, there was not a domain in which the United States did not have (or at least share) the lead, and by a significant margin in many arenas. “Green” is going to be the green machine of the 21st Century, and the signs are coming in one after another that that machine is not now likely going to be American.
While America wallows in higher gasoline prices and even more money heading overseas to pay for oil imports:
Germany is seeing the payoff.
The [green] sector—both energy suppliers and equipment manufacturers—employs more than 235,000 people and generates annual sales upwards of $33 billion, government figures show. Nearly 60 companies in Germany specialize in wind systems….Nearly 100 companies manufacture solar cells or supply the sector, with more than half of those in the old East Germany, which has earned the nickname Solar Valley.
This provides even more reasoning why the Stimulus package should include “Green” elements from energy efficiency programs to renewable energy construction.
Thanks to smart regulation, Germany has become a global powerhouse in green energy, producing more electricity from wind than any other country. While the industry owes some of its success to German expertise in fields such as aerodynamics, the biggest boost has come from the government. The nation’s energy law guarantees operators of windmills and solar generators an above-market price for power for as long as 20 years.
Can America do “smart regulation” any longer?
HatTip to SolveClimate at Daily Kos.