Renewable Energy in a Downturn

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T. Boone Pickens, the Texas Oilman, and a force behind Proposition 10, which was recently defeated by California voters, was quoted as saying the boom he foresaw in wind power would be “put off.” (The New York Times Green Inc blog discussed Mr. Picken’s role in Proposition 10 a few months ago).

Mr. Pickens had announced plans to build the world’s biggest wind farm in Texas, and invest USD 58 million of his own funds in promoting wind energy. Now, Mr. Pickens and other clean energy investors are caught in the on-going credit crunch that has spread worldwide. The Economist reported that “New Energy Finance, a research firm, calculates that the amount of project finance devoted to clean-energy projects around the world fell by almost 25% in the third quarter, to $18 billion.”

While investment in clean technology is falling, US legislators are seeing clean energy as a way to combat climate change, and create “green-color jobs.” Clean energy technologies are viewed by President-Elect Obama as a key source of innovation, which can lead to new economic growth. This view seems to be shared across the political spectrum: US lawmakers recently extended subsidies for renewable energy, and added them into the recent bail-out for financial services.

Read the Economist Article on Clean Technology

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