Here is what you need to understand about this…America grew to the largest PRIVATE SECTOR investment in the world in 2011 largely because of the stimulus that was passed in 2009. This is not government spending – these are TAX CREDITS….tax cuts for clean energy investments. This is something that we should all be proud of…renewable energy is going to provide a lower cost of living for American citizens through reduced energy costs, it will create a more self-sufficient country relative to energy independence and it’s a tremendous opportunity for American businesses to export goods i.e. produce jobs at home. These are REAL jobs that are hard to export overseas….
So you’d expect to see Republican support for private sector jobs created by business friendly tax cuts right? Nope. Democrats tried to eliminate $24 billion in taxpayer subsidies for 5 major oil companies that made almost $1 trillion in the last decade, but Republicans filibustered. And Republicans won’t support these clean energy tax credits. It’s called economic sabotage.
From Pew Charitable Trusts:
“Global clean energy finance and investment grew to $263 billion in 2011, a 6.5 percent increase over the previous year, according to new research released by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Among Group of Twenty (G-20) nations, the United States reclaimed the top spot from China, which led the global clean energy race since 2009. Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and India were also among the nations that most successfully attracted private investments last year.
“Clean energy investment, excluding research and development, has grown by 600 percent since 2004, on the basis of effective national policies that create market certainty,” saidPhyllis Cuttino, director of Pew’s Clean Energy Program. “This increase was due in part to the number of countries that have implemented effective national policies to support the clean energy market. In the United States, which attracted $48 billion last year, investors took advantage of the country’s stimulus programs before they expired at the end of 2011, as well as the production tax credit for electricity from renewable energy, which is to end this December.”
But the BBC points out that the boost in private sector clean energy investment is the result of policies from the Obama administration – namely the stimulus and that there is likely to be a drop off in investment as government incentives expire. From the BBC:
She said market data showed that the US benefited in the short-term from attracting finances, however it was unlikely to be sustained.
“Investors rushed in to take advantage of expiring policies, such as tax incentives, loan guarantees, which expired at the end of 2011,” Ms Cuttino told BBC News.
“So when we look at the very rapid rate of growth in investment here in the US, it is hard to see how that could be maintained without the policy mechanism that spurred that growth.”
She suggested that there were signs that pointed towards a “drop off” in future clean energy investment as a result of “policy uncertainty”.
Source: Think Progress
BusinessWeek is reporting that investment in renewable energy has falled to a three year low in the 1st quarter of 2012 now that the Obama era stimulus incentives have expired. Republicans are unlikely to support anything that has the word “green” attached to it; most of their donations from the energy sector do come from the oil and gas swath not the renewable energy swath….so they’re not interested. An excerpt:
The quarterly decline follows a record year in which an estimated $263 billion was poured into renewable energy, according to the London-based research company. The clean-energy industry has been hurt by subsidy cuts in European nations including Spain, Germany and the U.K., and expiring tax credits in the U.S., the biggest market in 2011 for renewables.
“The weak first-quarter number reflects the destabilizing uncertainty over future clean-energy support in both the European Union, driven by the financial crisis, and the U.S., driven by the expiry of stimulus programs,” New Energy Finance Chief Executive Officer Michael Liebreich said in the statement. “There is no sign of a rapid turnaround in either of these regions.”
Top 10 nations in clean energy investment
|(SOURCE: BLOOMBERG NEW ENERGY FINANCE; FEBRUARY 2012)|
|Rank||Nation||Investment in 2011 ($bn)||Investment in 2010 ($bn)|
|5||Rest of EU-27||11.1||15.2|
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