Tag Archives: President Obama

This Week In Green Energy: Obama’s New Drill

Week of March 29 – to – April 2, 2010

The drill flip

Why did he do it? That was the question many people asked this week after President Obama endorsed offshore oil and gas drilling along the Atlantic Coast, from Delaware to central Florida, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s north coast. The announcement follows 14 months of aggressive pro-green policies by the Obama administration.

President Obama justified his decision as an extension of his ongoing “pan-energy” policy, in which renewable energy is one prong and the development of next-generation nuclear reactors and exploration for new oil reserves is the other.

Politically, after a bruising, yearlong fight in Congress over health care, the Obama administration sees offshore drilling as a bi-partisan issue that could get Republicans to support a comprehensive climate change and energy bill. Will it? That’s hard to predict, as Republicans, saying his move doesn’t go far enough, quickly criticized the president for maintaining the ban on much of the Pacific Coast. His decision, not surprisingly, also angered the environmental community.

Continue reading This Week In Green Energy: Obama’s New Drill

Governors Urge President Obama To Expand Cleantech Tax Credit

Governors are pressing President Obama to extend the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, the fiscal incentive funded by the stimulus to boost cleantech jobs in the U.S., and which is set to expire at the end of the year.

In a letter, 19 state governors — Republicans and Democrats — propose that the tax credits be extended as part of a “jobs bill or another appropriate vehicle,”– see full letter below the fold.

The governors write:

For too long, America has lagged behind our global competitors for the development, production, and deployment of clean energy innovations. Today, only one of the ten leading wind turbine manufacturers and one of the ten leading solar photovoltaic companies in the world are American. In Europe, bold renewable energy requirements and generation incentives, combined with significant subsidies for manufacturing, have given foreign firms a significant head start…. Expanding the 48C Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit will support new waves of domestic production and innovative new jobs and careers.

Continue reading Governors Urge President Obama To Expand Cleantech Tax Credit

The Big Chinese Stand

Here in Austin, the mood amongst delegates attending Renewable Energy World Conference, North America is upbeat. The financial crisis is now mostly in the rear-view mirror of developers, who have been enjoying the Obama administration’s stimulus funding.

There are still some important issues hampering the industry, including access to cheap, long-term capital. Bankers are lending but they are a lot more selective compared to say, 2007 or 2008.

Besides funding issues, what’s also been on a lot of delegates mind is China and the very visible push this year by Chinese renewable energy companies to enter the North American renewable energy market.

And that’s what brings us to the “Chinese stand.” Continue reading The Big Chinese Stand

China’s $1 Trillion Renewable Energy Market Worth the IP Risk, Report Says

Of concern for clean energy developers looking to enter the massive Chinese renewable energy market is the risk that local competitors pirate their proprietary intelligence.

Earlier this month, asked by a research analyst how it intended to protect its IP in China, First Solar Chairman Mike Ahearn, said IP protection was a concern but he failed to give specifics on how the company would ensure its proprietary technology would not be copied. He said: “somewhere during the course of this work we’re going to be looking at manufacturing sites [in China] and we will address the IP issue.”

In September First Solar signed an MOU with the Chinese government to develop a 2-gigawatt PV power plant in the country’s Inner Mongolia region.

With China spending an estimated $12.6 million every hour on green energy technology — or 40 percent of its $586 billion stimulus package — foreign clean energy companies like First Solar are more than ever hungry for a slice of the Chinese clean energy pie, despite the IP risk. Continue reading China’s $1 Trillion Renewable Energy Market Worth the IP Risk, Report Says

After Cap-and-Trade, Next on the Clean Energy Agenda… Keeping it American

So far, much of the clean energy debate has focused on cap-and-trade, but little attention has been paid to the other rationale put out by the Obama administration in defense of its green energy plan – JOBS. That changed yesterday, with the (unofficial) roll out of the administration’s new clean energy talking point: “Green energy creates jobs…” or something like that.

This PR-driven White House engineered a two-part roll out. First, it began with an event, the White House Energy Forum, (PR 101: create an event to decimate a specific message), moderated by Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. Next came a presidential speech – that was earlier today at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where President Obama dusted up old campaign rhetorics on green energy as a job creator.

(The Environmental Capital’s Keith Johnson take on the speech: “There was little new.” See here for the whole speech or here for GER’s take on it.) Continue reading After Cap-and-Trade, Next on the Clean Energy Agenda… Keeping it American

Can Dems pass Waxman – Markey? President Obama urges House to pass historic bill

It’s been all hands on deck for supporters of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES).  A  vote on the climate change and energy legislation by the full House is scheduled for tomorrow amidst  growing concern from the White House that momentum for the bill is slipping away.

At last count, even with the deal brokered on Tuesday evening with Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.),  the bill’s sponsors –Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.)  –  were still short 35 votes — out of the 218 needed — to pass the climate legislation.

In a press conference, his second this week, President Obama pressed for passage of ACES, saying it was not just a climate change and energy bill but also a “a jobs bill”  that could help create millions of green collar jobs.

The night before, former Vice President Al Gore also pitched in, speaking at a conference call — (he also posted a video message on YouTube ) — organized by his Repower America organization, he told participants that the vote on Friday would  be “very tight.” He said passing ACES would boost chances that the Senate will approve a parallel energy bill:

“This is the moment! If we can pass this legislation in the House of Representatives this week, then we will go to the Senate with a broad coalition and a far greater chance  [for climate change legislation to be signed into law] than anyone ever would have thought was possible just a few short months ago.”

Gore said the bill was not perfect and that “more needed to be done,” but it was a “historic first step.”

The blogosphere/ Twittersphere (Twitter search: #ACES) is also ablaze, with voices both for and against ACES.  Those against, also see here,  say the legislation is too expensive and a “terrible deal for tax payers.” Supporters say the bill — however watered down — secures significant carbon cuts below 1990 levels by 2020.