I am a recent graduate of William and Mary with a double major in environmental science and policy and public policy. I will be an energy blogger. How can the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil? Is green technology going to happen sooner than we think? What kind of message is needed to sell individuals on the need to stop drill baby drill? These are some of the questions I'd like to ex...
Green Energy: Potential Help to U.S. Manufacturing Industry
Many towns throughout the U.S. that manufactured many goods for our economy have been shipped overseas to China, India, Mexico and other places as the U.S. has gone from a predominately manufacturing to a service sector economy. That has had tremendous consequences in the short-term where many residents of those towns who were employed at the factory that relocated are now unemployed, perhaps with a touch of despair. The solution, however, is not to despair, but to rebuild and find new and innovative, alternative jobs that cannot be shipped overseas to India, China, or Mexico. In particular, what the U.S. government must do is become a leading manufacturer in green technology or industry like other countries have already done.
For example, the U.S. is behind China "has stepped on the gas in an effort to become the dominant player in green energyespecially in solar power, and even in the United States. Chinese companies have already played a leading role in pushing down the price of solar panels by almost half over the last year." President Obama and his administration clearly need to do something about the imbalance here whereby the U.S. is lagging behind China in solar manufacturing. For example, although President Obama acknowledges that the U.S. manufacturing industry may need to be retooled and reorganized around green technology when he announced back in 2009 "that they (his Administration) would give $2.3 billion in tax credits to clean energy equipment manufacturers," solar industry experts particularly are concerned that such credits are enough when competing against the Chinese who already heavily subsidize their renewable energy sector much more.
As a result, the U.S. is clearly falling behind China particularly when it comes to renewable energy manufacturing. A lot of the problem falls on the U.S. government subsidy system that gives a disproportionate amount of resources to the fossil fuel industry over that of green energy such as solar or wind manufacturers. Even with Obama's pledge of $2.3 billion to the "clean energy industry," that pales in comparison to the amount other countries give to their renewable energy sector and even China which does build, according to some statistics, one coal powered plant a week, invests more in terms of resources in the renewable energy/green sector. As such, given China's example, in particular, it is indeed true that green energy is a potential boon to the U.S. manufacturing industry. The jobs, therefore, lost to India and China may be able to be kept in the U.S. once the government starts making larger investments from what they have made thus far in green energy.
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