Local economies that wish to harvest tax revenues from the burgeoning clean energy sector must turn to federal governments to support policies that encourage investments in clean energy. Upon examining countries that have the potential to bring in significant revenue from new clean energy technologies, it becomes clear which local communities are likely to benefit from the influx of dollars earned through selling solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies.
A major new report released today by the Breakthrough Institute and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, is the first to comprehensively benchmark the competitiveness positions of the United States and key Asian challengers in the global clean energy race. The report – “Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant” (pdf, 5.1 MB) – examines the competitive position of each nation in key clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, and nuclear power, carbon capture and storage, advanced vehicles and batteries, and high-speed rail, as well as the government strategies each nation hopes will strengthen their position in the competitive global clean technology sector. The study finds that Asia’s rising “clean technology tigers” – China, Japan, and South Korea – have already passed the United States in the production of virtually all clean energy technologies, and over the next five years, the governments of these nations will out-invest the United States three-to-one in these sectors. These Asian nations will attract a large share of private sector investments in clean energy technology, estimated to total in the trillions of dollars over the next decade.
While some U.S. firms will benefit from the establishment of joint clean tech ventures overseas, jobs and tax revenues generated by these investments will flow primarily to these Asian countries, enriching their communities and stimulating even more economic growth. The U.S. may eventually wean itself off of Middle Eastern oil, but if the country doesn’t start investing in clean energy technologies more aggressively, the U.S. may find itself addicted to clean technologies imported from Asia.