Report: US regains lead in clean energy investment

“However, it may drop back again this year after the end of two key subsidy programmes introduced as part of the 2009 economic stimulus package: grants for renewable energy projects and government loan guarantees to encourage private sector investment.”

The Financial Times reports,

The US had fallen behind China because of the effects of the financial crisis, which came at a time when Beijing committed to a huge rise in investment in renewables to cut pollution and strengthen energy security.

Last year, however, investment in the US rose 33 per cent to $55.9bn, while in China it was broadly unchanged at $47.4bn. After spectacular growth in plants for manufacturing wind turbines and solar panels, causing global overcapacity, China applied the brakes last year.

Ethan Zindler, of Bloomberg NEF, said subsidy cuts meant that investment was likely to fall this year. However, he added, the falling cost of renewable energy was close to making it competitive with fossil fuels.

“We are on the verge of a turning a corner where in the next five to seven years or so, subsidy will be much less important for clean energy investment,” he said. [Emphasis added]

LOL about Zindler’s prediction (highlighted above). The renewables sector will cry like stuck pigs when their subsidies are pared back and private investors back off not-ready-for-prime-time energy technologies. We urge Congressional Republicans to put the squeeze on now.

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