Day: January 17, 2007

Compare and Contrast these two energy stories

Read both these stories and go bang your head on a wall repeatedly.

Europe creates attractive clean energy scene – International Herald Tribune

But a commitment by European governments to budding clean-energy entrepreneurs is creating a more welcoming environment than in America, where erratic support and onerous financial rules have given pause to some start-ups and investors.

American ‘Coal Rush’ Hits Some Hurdles

The nation’s demand for electricity is growing, and utilities want to build new power plants to satisfy that appetite. Most of those plants — perhaps as many as 150 — would burn coal.

Well, at least the coal rush is hitting a few hurdles. But even if half those plants don’t come about, that’s still 70+ coal fired power plants, nice!

The interesting part of the IHT story to me was this.

Venture capitalists and private equity investors in North America have been more bullish, providing $3.5 billion to clean-energy developers in 2006, roughly triple the amount raised in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, according to New Energy Finance, a research firm based in London.

So, if the US had the right incentives, Americans would be investing there, creating jobs there, improving infrastructure there instead of in Europe. I guess those very “patriotic” American lawmakers don’t think that far ahead. Note also that all the tax cuts to wealthy Americans leaves a lot of cash floating around for them to invest in projects in other parts of the world. These are investments the US won’t reap a benefit on as a country, or create jobs for the working proletariat – Nice tax cuts, more patriotism, I guess. Such a poor return on investment on these tax cuts.