Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

If the USA was smart, we would make a massive switch to renewable energy now, while we still can. By 2012 we could be out of luck.

Clean Power

US Must Transition to Clean Power by 2012 or Miss the Chance

If the USA was smart, we would make a massive switch to renewable energy now, while we still can. By 2012 we could be out of luck.

If the US was smart, we would be funding a massive switch to renewable energy now, while we still can. By 2012 we could be out of luck. China is sitting on the only currently mined sources of many of the rare earth minerals needed to build electric cars, solar panels and wind turbines. Reasonably enough, having developed the resources, China wants to keep them for its own needs, that is has planned for.

But we are not smart. Even before the Supreme Court ruling this week, we already allowed fossil interests to dictate our energy policy by allowing the purchase of both policy makers and the formerly public airwaves to impede smart energy policy. In no other democracy is such corruption allowed.

The result is that we will be out of the ability to protect ourselves from peak oil from 2012 to at least 2020 (the earliest that new rare earth mines outside China might begin to come online). If we don’t pass effective climate legislation this year, we will miss that crucial transition window.

Now that other nations are beginning to move into renewable energy development, the world will need 200,000 tons of rare earth elements by 2014. In just a decade world needs went from 40,000 tons to 120,000 tons, but there is not enough to go around. Faced with shortages, China plans to stop exporting completely by 2012.

As a result, just at the same time that we will be beginning to see the effects of peak oil, making oil increasingly expensive, we will suffer a crucial gap in the materials needed to build renewable energy. The shortages will be worst in Dysprosium and Neodymium to make electric vehicle motors and in Erbuium to manufacture vanadium steel needed for wind turbines.

One nation will be able to bypass peak oil and transition to the new renewable energy economy, because it thought ahead, and that is China. That is survival of the fittest, I guess.

There’s some ways around the Senate stalemate, though. One very effective way to transition fast to clean power in a way that can bypass our Senate block on cap and trade, is to make PACE funding for renewable energy available to homeowners nationwide in the budget. Budget funding can be passed with a majority of of just 51 votes like in other democracies.

Related stories:

Joe Biden: Solar Power America With PACE Funding

Rooftop Solar = 4% of Sonoma County’s Power!

Image: Sun Light & Power

Source: The Independent

More from Susan Kraemer Journalists on Twitter

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


You May Also Like


Electric vehicles often differ based on different battery technologies. US-based electric automaker Tesla has set the trend for years. According to Yang Jie at...

Clean Transport

China has emerged as a world leader in electric vehicle adoption in recent years. And it turns out 2021 was no exception. According to...

Clean Power

Like it or not, policymakers in some US states are unable to stem the solar power tide as Lightsource bp joins forces with leading...


In the fall and winter of 2021, Tesla and Elon Musk were vilified over Elon’s wealth. This year, after Elon has paid his taxes,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.