The U.S. renewable energy industry may be heading towards a “clean
tech cliff.” Three-quarters of the government incentive funds that have
helped drive tremendous growth in industries like solar and wind are set
to expire between now and 2014. For good or ill, the political
decisions made between now and then will define a pivotal period for
Will congressional action deal a severe blow to clean energy
technologies that are just beginning to compete with fossil fuels in
terms of cost and efficiency? Or deliver a golden opportunity to revisit
the way clean tech is subsidized, trimming waste and pushing renewables
to start standing on their own economic feet earlier?
“It’s a pretty serious juncture we’re facing,” said Brookings
Institution fellow Mark Muro, one of the authors of a new report
entitled Beyond Boom and Bust: Getting Clean Energy Policy Right.