Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cleantech Investment in Trillions by 2020

Private Investment Pouring into Asia

The Pew Charitable Trusts have issued a new report on global cleantech investment over the next decade. The principal conclusion? Investment from private sources in the G-20 industrialized nations will be $1.8T under the "business as usual" scenario and as much as $2.3T if "enhanced" clean energy policies are consistently adopted.

However, that all depends on one key factor: strong, supportive government clean energy policy.

Says Pew: "The center of gravity of renewable energy investment has really shifted to Asia."

"The extraordinary worldwide growth in clean energy investment over the past five years has been defined by a simple fact: where supportive clean energy policies are adopted, investment follows."

There is a "gigantic economic opportunity for the United States" that Pew estimates to be $342B of private investment, but it requires the US to step up and implement policy, and one of the best would be a Renewable Energy Standard for electricity generation from renewable sources. The result would be an opportunity "up and down the supply chain" to export to China, India and other Asian countries technologies and products that they need for their own renewable energy projects. "Business as usual simply isn't working."

The question for US policymakers and especially the sclerotic Senate is "will they seize the opportunity or simply let it pass them by?"

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