Blowing (away) in the wind

Authors: Green For All

Well, we're starting to pay the price for not passing a comprehensive climate bill that invests in clean-energy jobs. Instead of a strong federal law encouraging the development of renewable-energy industries, we have a policy void that's leaving the American wind industry stuck in the status quo.

Just this week, two separate articles have pointed out the China is poised to surge past the U.S. in the manufacture and development of wind-harnessing technologies.

On, Stacy Feldman quotes Don Furman, a senior vice president for wind company Iberdrola Renewables:

"The jobs and the investment are going to China."

And later:

"China is literally racing ahead of us," Furman said. "We invented the wind industry in the United States. And we are falling behind in terms of our manufacture of wind turbines and components."

On Matter Network, Peter Asmus similarly writes:

Without federal support, China will certainly blow past the U.S. on the wind energy front…In the second quarter of 2010, China’s investments in wind power was more than double that of the U.S., a harbinger of things to come.

We may not have a climate bill, but we can still take steps to put the U.S. to compete in this new industry. One of the simplest of these is setting a federal Renewable Energy Standard, mandating that electric companies get a certain percentage of their power from renewable sources. This would give them real incentive to invest in clean energy like wind.

The U.S. should use renewable energy as a springboard towards real energy independence. That will happen only if we invest in clean energy. If not, we'll just import clean energy from places like China, and will be stuck in the same predicament all over again.

We can start this fall by passing a Renewable Energy Standard.

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