Ernst and Young has a new study out which ranks the world’s nations’ attractiveness for renewable investment in 2010. Sure, China is number one. We’ve covered that extensively here all year. With double the investment of the rest of the world combined, that is to be expected. But, if you don’t count the Red states here, the US is Number two! Take that, EU! USA! USA! USA!
But wait. Perhaps the US was given a handicap, to look better in this race. Because Ernst and Young only counts Blue states. These are the states that have renewable policy in place. For example, New Jersey’s SREC program for solar that rivals Germany’s feed-in tariff in payouts. The four Northeastern states that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions to below 1990 levels, rivaling the EU. The Red states don’t have SRECs or RES policy for utilities to install clean energy. But shouldn’t the US and the EU be counted the same way?
Instead of counting the 400 million people in the EU as one united European state, the study breaks up the EU by country. But it is EU climate policy as a whole that drives so many EU nations to the top. Thus Germany, the UK, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Sweden are all individually hot on the heels of “the US” (Blue states plus Texas).
Per their footnote 3, Ernst and Young counts only perhaps half (or is it three quarters?) of the 300 million people in the US as “US”, by considering only those states that are doing anything about renewable energy, like California (Cleantech Worldwide Breathes Sigh of Relief as California Saves Climate Bill AB32). The “US” excludes all the dirty states that lack renewable policy; states like Wyoming, Indiana, North Dakota, Kentucky, Oklahoma and so on.
Or perhaps, on the other hand, this kind of makes sense to divide the US into the states with, and the states without renewable energy policy. The US has no national policy that all the states must follow, like the EU does for all its countries. There really are two Americas when it comes to renewable energy: Red state America and Blue state America – plus Texas.
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