Energy

Energy

The Crisis in Clean Energy

Stark Realities of the Renewables Craze

By David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek

After years of staggering growth, the clean-energy industry is headed for a crisis. In most of the Western countries leading the industry, the public subsidies that have propelled it to 25 percent annual growth rates in recent years have now become politically unsustainable. Temporary government stimulus programs -- which in 2010 supplied one-fifth of the record investment in clean energy worldwide -- have merely delayed the bad news. Last year, after 20 years of growth, the number of new wind turbine installations dropped for the first time; in the United States, the figure fell by as much as half. The market value of leading clean-energy equipment manufacturing companies has plummeted and is poised to decline further as government support for the industry erodes.

The coming crisis could make some of the toughest foreign policy challenges facing the United States -- from energy insecurity to the trade deficit to global warming -- even more difficult to resolve. The revolution in clean energy was supposed to help fix these problems while also creating green jobs that would power the economic recovery. Some niches in clean energy will still be profitable, such as residential rooftop solar installations and biofuel made from Brazilian sugar cane, which is already competitive with oil. But overall, the picture is grim. This is true not only for the United States but also for the rest of the world, because the market for clean-energy technologies is global.

Category Content

There is solar, and there is solar. Centralized solar generation — large...
SDuteil , Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 14:46
Assistant Professor of Physics Alexi Arango has been telling students in his...
SDuteil , Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 14:45
California’s bet on green energy is paying off, with clean technology...
SDuteil , Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 14:42
The question for 2015 is not IF the booming solar PV market will grow but just...
SDuteil , Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - 14:41
For the past 13 years, Clean Edge has published the annual Clean Energy Trends...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:56
Wind is generating a great deal of attention these days. I’m talking...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:54
The story of a hippy flower-child who leveraged big economic decisions that...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:52
A situation overview by Encounters, the e-newsletter of the Maryknoll Office...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:50
Investment in renewables worldwide has picked up steam. It is possible that...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:48
Looking at the markets from a 30,000 foot level, some interesting shifts are...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:46
A documentary covering the new renewable energy technology coming out.
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 10:37
Around the country, investor-owned utilities are working to meet new renewable...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 10:35
By Miriam Defensor SantiagoKeynote speech at the Renewable Energy Conference...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 10:34
An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning...
SDuteil , Monday, January 19, 2015 - 08:38
The following video assist BER assessors with on-site surveys relating to...
SDuteil , Friday, January 16, 2015 - 14:05
[NEW Technology documentary] Renewable Energy - NEW+ Science Documentary 2014 [...
SDuteil , Friday, January 9, 2015 - 18:49
For more information: www.eesi.org/expo2014The 17th Annual Congressional...
SDuteil , Friday, January 9, 2015 - 18:35
Do you believe in a future with sustainable solutions? As a student of the...
SDuteil , Friday, January 9, 2015 - 18:29
Smart Energy Systems: 100% Renewable Energy at a National Level (Full Version)...
SDuteil , Monday, January 5, 2015 - 11:28
SuperHomes was its category winner in the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2014...
SDuteil , Monday, January 5, 2015 - 11:27