Friday, August 27, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Green Shoots

I’ve talked a lot about how the economy is tied to investments in Research and Development, so I found this graph really interesting.

It really shows how the US has suffered under the anti-science policies of the last Presidents. When we had a strong commitment to government funded R&D and Education we were the leader in advanced technology and the world bought it from us. When we stopped the rest of the world overtook us.

As part of the stimulus package $90 Billion was given to Clean Energy Research. That $90 Billion encouraged private investors to put up over $300 Billion for research. As a result the US is going from a non-player in the Advanced Battery Market to being expected to have a 20% share by 2012. The solar power industry that the US started and then abandoned is getting a huge boost as the US is looking into the next-generation of solar cells that will cut costs in half. This would turn the US into a major producer of solar cells.

A less glamorous part of the research is to bring our current railroad system that has deteriorated from moving at 65 miles an hour to 40 mph back up and surpass its old speed going 110 mph. These innovations can be shipped around the world as most countries have a rail system that can be upgraded.

However we are not alone, China has a $740 Billion, 10-year investment into Clean Energy research. The race for Clean Energy could turn out to be like the Space Race in the 50s and 60s. If the US stays on track and continues to invest $90 Billion a year into Clean Energy to stay ahead of China the economic reward will go to the winner and since it is such a big field we are sure to win in some areas and they are sure to win in others. But the true overall winners will be the citizens of the world who will be able to enjoy nearly limitless clean renewable energy.

This investment into clean energy research is the start of our fantastic future.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

4 comments:

Stephanie Barr said...

This reminds of Applied Materials that makes machines to build solar panels. In September 2009, they'd build 14 factories in two years. How many are they building in the US?

ZERO

But they built more than a dozen in Asia and Europe.

We have the know-how. We should be using it here.

Stephanie Barr said...

Meant to add this link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/16/opinion/16friedman.html?scp=13&sq=solar%20panel%20factory&st=cse

Project Savior said...

Great link,
Thanks.

Greg said...

I hope we continue on this path, and future administrations don't take us back. It is just common sense to find an alternative for oil.

Ethanol is another good alternative to oil that should be mentioned as well. Cleaner and cheaper, safer for the environment.