I believe it is wise from an environmental and economic viewpoint to invest in renewable energy projects. I believe the costs of fossil fuel based energy will continue to increase. Renewable energy is continuing to improve and when considering the negative externalities caused by oil, gas and coal and the continuing improvement in wind, solar and geothermal generation investment in renewable energy are going to payoff well for countries.
I've written a good bit lately about the recent push among US companies and politicians for tariffs and other forms of protectionism against imports of "green energy" goods and services. One thing I really haven't gotten into, however, is the blatant hypocrisy of such efforts - which inevitably result in higher prices for the targeted goods and services - when undertaken by politicians who at the same time claim to support "clean" energy and its environmental benefits and/or lower taxes on American families and businesses.
The U.S. clean energy industry could be forgiven for thinking it’s trapped in its own personal Groundhog Day. Every few years, the federal subsidies supporting the industry expire, unless Congress agrees to extend them once more. Until last year, they’ve usually been extended, but only for another few years, leaving the industry hamstrung when it comes to making long-term forecasts that might justify large-scale investments. But then, in 2013, a major subsidy was allowed to expire. What’s more, the value of another is set to decline dramatically in 2017.
Last week, I explained how federal "green" subsidies to domestic producers of polysilicon - a key input for solar panels - fueled global overcapacity and helped kill Solyndra, the poster-child for America's green subsidy mess.
In 2007 alone, clean energy spurred the opening of 10,209 businesses with 125,390 jobs in the Golden State, according to a report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.
New "green" jobs sprouted faster than the overall workforce expanded in California and across the nation from 1998 to 2007, according to a study released Wednesday by the PEW Charitable Trusts .
Last week, I discussed how the rampant subsidization of "green industries" like US biofuels manufacturers, combined with increased US government efforts to increase exports, could lead to an onslaught of new trade cases in foreign markets or the WTO, as subsidized American "green" exports began to penetrate foreign markets and injure (or threaten) their competition. Noting a new Australian anti-subsidy case against US biofuels, I said at the time: