Converts Climb Aboard Clean Energy Bus
Bill Clinton’s getting downright green.
And he’s not the only one. A whole slew of corporate magnates, political leaders and members of the establishment are buying into the economic benefits of energy savings and clean energy renewables.
In an interview in which Clinton discussed clean energy, jobs and how the two could resurrect the stagnant economy, he suggests increasing energy efficiency retrofits of government buildings and universities and decentralize energy generation by adding renewable sources.
“Big centralized power stations would be used for things like manufacturing,” he says.
Making it work
Clinton advises approaching clean energy from a capitalist perspective with the questions: “How can we make a dollar out of this?” and “How can we put people to work?” He spoke with Aaron Task on Yahoo’s Daily Ticker.
But the former president appears to be pointing out the obvious. The green clean energy movement looks as if it will rocket ahead without any assistance from the White House or Congress. Not that a nod from a jobs package would hurt.
In an interview with Smart Grid News that appeared on cleantechies.com, economists Ahmad Faruqui and Doug Mitarotonda of The Brattle Group predict U.S. electricity demand will decline between 5 percent and 15 percent over the next decade. This despite an increase in personal electronics use. The two economists cite a “new wave of energy efficiency” where building managers and electricity consumers monitor energy use and adjust accordingly via new technology.
Solar bounds past setbacks
And despite the setback of Solyndra’s bankruptcy and federal investigation, solar doesn’t look to be slowing down. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report, the domestic photovoltaics market grew 69 percent in second quarter 2011 from the same period a year earlier.
“The U.S. remains poised to install 1,750 megawatts of PV in 2011, double last year’s total and enough to power 350,000 homes,” writes greentechmedia.com.
In a followup story, Greentechmedia.com’s Eric Wesoff reports that the United States has surpassed the 1 gigawatt, or 1 billion watt, mark for installed solar and looks to pass the 2 gigawatt threshold next year.
Industry posts growth
Not too shabby. And prospects look good for that trend to continue. The Solar Foundation’s latest study finds 100,237 jobs in the industry as of August 2011 and growth of 6.8 percent in August 2011 from the same period a year earlier.