Speaking in his weekly media address, US President Barack Obama has explained the need for doubling clean energy funding for research and development.
“One of the greatest challenges of our time is climate change,” said President Obama as he opened his weekly media address, stating what could be described graciously as something of an understatement. “Over the last seven years, we’ve made historic investments in clean energy that helped private sector companies create tens of thousands of good jobs.”
And he’s right. The US has invested heavily into the country’s clean energy industry. According to figures published by Bloomberg New Energy Finance earlier this month, the US invested $56 billion into the industry during 2015, bringing the total amount invested since 2007 up to a phenomenal $442 billion.
But the reality of this investment is that it is investing in technology that has been around for a while — and as President Obama has said, “rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future.”
As such, the budget that President Obama will send to Congress this week includes a doubling in clean energy funding for research and development by 2020. Specifically, the funding is set to “include new investments to help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power outcompete dirty fuels in every state.”
President Obama also managed to throw the Republicans a bone, noting that, “while Republicans in Congress are still considering their position on climate change, many of them realize that clean energy is an incredible source of good-paying jobs for their constituents.” This good-will was what allowed the Democrats to boost clean energy funding in last year’s budget, and President Obama is banking on similar cooperation this time around as well.