The US is falling behind in the clean energy race, Steven Chu told a Clemson University symposium, while visiting South Carolina on Monday. The University has just won a Department of Energy grant for wind testing at a world-class level, and will be testing wind turbines larger than ever before seen in this country, as I detailed here last week: South Carolina to Lead US With $98 Million World-Class Wind Center.
The Department of Energy award to Clemson University is one of many that the US Department of Energy has invested this year in renewable energy, reversing years of neglect of the “braintrust” infrastructure of research and development that drives renewable energy innovation.
Both China and Europe wind increasingly look to each other for renewable energy infrastructure, while the US is being left behind by both continents. Since signing Kyoto in 1997; agreeing to carbon constraints that forced it to forge ahead and develop new renewable low carbon energy, Europe has raced ahead in wind and solar power, and now dominates the world market.
“America has the opportunity to lead the world in a new industrial revolution,” Mr. Chu told business leaders, political leaders and engineers at a Clemson University symposium.
But, he said: “The world is passing us by. We are falling behind in the clean energy race … China is spending $9 billion a month on clean energy … China has now passed the United States and Europe in high-tech manufacturing. There is no reason the United States should cede high-tech manufacturing to anyone.”
“This is going to be a very competitive business and we want to help the United States get a leadership position in wind generation technology,” Mr. Chu said.
“This is high-tech manufacturing. This means quality jobs for Americans, this means better exports and balance of trade, it means better consumption at home, it further drives down the price of wind, it betters our exports, it creates jobs in America. We see all good things.”
Source: Climate Progress