Green energy revolution could pass US by
by David Masters
January 9, 2009
John Doerr, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist whose investments helped launch Google and Amazon, has warned US Congress that America is falling behind the rest of the world in developing renewable energy technology.
Speaking to the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee, Doerr said that just six of the world’s top thirty solar, wind and advanced battery companies are based in the US.
Two of Doerr’s biggest investments in renewable energy are in companies outside the US, he said, because American companies do not have the most advanced technology.
He added that if US citizens want to keep on burning carbon fuels, they should pay the entire cost – including the cost of global environmental clean up, and the cost of keeping troops in the Middle East.
Without carbon taxes, American citizens will not embrace renewable technology, Doerr said.
Doerr outlined a five point energy to plan to help the US reclaim the lead in the green revolution.
First, America’s energy grid must be modernised for solar and wind energy; second, carbon taxes; third, require utilities companies to generate increasing amounts of renewable energy; fourth, offer incentives for utility companies to increase energy efficiency; and fifth, allocate more government money for research and development on green energy.
The US must invest in green technology, Doerr concluded, or risk losing its international economic advantage. He said it is the perhaps the largest economic opportunity of the 21st century.
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