US Use of Renewables Behind Japan, Europe

IS the United States losing the race to develop renewable energy? A coalition of more than 20 consumer, environmental, and industrial organizations is calling on Washington to more than double spending on research and development for energy sources like solar, wind, and geothermal.

Europe and Japan could soon pull ahead of the US, and this country could lose valuable export markets, the coalition warns.

Scott Sklar, executive director of the Solar Energy Industries Association, says: ``The European Community ... is outspending the US by 30 times on renewable energy export promotions, while Germany, Italy, and Japan already outspend the US on photovoltaic, wind, and other renewable energy R&D.''

President Bush is asking for an $11 million increase to $172 million for renewable energy in 1992. But that still is only a fraction of what it was in the 1970s.

The coalition, which includes Public Citizen, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the American Wind Energy Association, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, and others, wants the budget for renewables boosted to $462 million in 1992, $572 million in 1993, and $653 million in 1994.

The Bush administration is focusing most of its research-and-development funds on fossil and nuclear options. But all sides agree that the potential for renewable energy is great.

One privately funded study found that a small California valley, the Carrizo Plain, could theoretically be filled with solar collectors and create enough electricity to power the entire state.

Wind power also appears to have great potential. Windmills produced a record 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours in 1990.

Excluding areas like cities and wilderness preserves, the US is estimated to have wind-energy potential of more than 100 quads, or more than all the energy used in this country last year.

Energy Secretary James Watkins's request for renewable funding in fiscal year 1992 was originally higher, but the White House cut it by 26 percent, the coalition report observes.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK