WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2013 – A new report: "Innovate, Manufacture, Compete: A Clean Energy Action Plan," published by the Pew Charitable Trusts opines that the U.S. competitive position in the clean energy industry will reach a trillion dollar in the next few years, but is trailing behind global competitors.
"Once a world leader in innovation and manufacturing of clean energy technologies, the United States now faces considerable competitive challenges," the report authors write. "It lags other nations on a variety of measures, including clean energy deployment and manufacturing. Even its long-standing lead in innovation is at risk."
With the inevitable expansion of the global clean energy, American industry is at risk to global competitors, being constrained by diverse challenges, including rigid credit markets, growing international competition, and an uneven arena with fossil energy sources. Jeff Metts, president of Astraeus Wind Energy, which makes turbine components. Complains the "It's difficult to get funding today,…We need some stability in this market."
The growing Clean energy markets offers the United States a unique opportunity for innovation, financial investment, manufacturing and job formation, Pew's report visualizes renewable power is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 8 percent. Signifying growth in the industry and realizing an increase from $200 billion in 2012 to $327 billion annually by 2018. Clean energy installations are projected to achieve 126 GW in the United States. This would double non-hydroelectric generating capacity.
According to Pew, the United States is poised to secure an estimated14.5 percent of those proceeds, equaling to $276 billion, over the next six years But uncertainty about government policies for the renewables market, the United States could derail that opportunity.
Congress efforts in supporting clean energy, recently passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act which provides a one-year extensions for several tax credits affecting alternative fuels, including those for compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The Act includes the 50-cent per GGE (Gasoline Gallon Equivalent) alternative-fuel tax credit for CNG, LNG, and propane, and the $30,000 infrastructure tax credit. The tax credits are extended until Dec. 31, 2013 and are retroactive for all of 2012.
According to a recent Fleets & Fuels article, NGVAmerica president Rich Kolodziej discussed what these credits mean for the Natural Gas Vehicle industry.
A key point in Kolodziej comments is the idea of displacing foreign oil and the implications this could have for the United States’ security, ‘green’ job creation and the significant reduction in greenhouse gasses.
America's race to clean energy is led by Clean Energy Fuels, which recently announced completion of 70 new liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling stations in 2012 in 33 states as part of the first stage. These stations are meant to support long-haul, heavy-duty goods travel along interstate highway corridors, are co-located with truck stop operator Pilot Flying J.
Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO of Clean Energy said “We have created America’s Natural Gas Highway to support the growing number of long-haul truckers and shippers who are deploying factory-built, heavy-duty trucks powered by natural gas fuel ... LNG-fueled trucks can now travel the country and reap the benefits of fuel cost savings, reduced dependence on foreign oil, and the lower emissions profile that characterizes this abundant American resource.”
Currently, the Natural Gas Highway connects all southern states except Florida. In the northern part of the U.S. most states soon to be linked.