Report: Asia Could Outpace U.S. in Clean Energy Sector

Nov 21 2009 | 7:44am ET

Asian countries are poised to outspend the United States on clean energy infrastructure and technology by a factor of three-to-one through 2013, says a new report from the Breakthrough Institute and Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

Rising Tigers, Sleeping Giant says the governments of China, Japan and South Korea will invest $519 billion in clean technology between 2009 and 2013, compared to $172 billion by the U.S. government. Climate and energy legislation, passed in the United States in June, would contribute $28.7 billion of the $172 billion five-year total. China alone will spend $440 billion to $660 billion over the next 10 years on cleantech.

The report points out that 85% of U.S. President Barack Obama's economic stimulus cleantech grants went to foreign firms.

“Should the investment gap persist,” the report warns, “the United States will import the overwhelming majority of clean energy technologies it deploys.”

The report contrasts what it characterizes as the “direct, immediate and coordinated” nature of Asian government cleantech investments to the “sporadic regulatory approach” pursed in the United States. The report suggests that government investments will allow Asian nations to create innovation “clusters” of manufacturers, universities, R&D labs, suppliers and other firms, much as the Pentagon helped create Silicon Valley in the fifties and sixties. These clusters will be attractive to U.S. firms, the report argues, which are already making large investments in China.

Moreover, the report concludes that China and other Asian nations are offering a better business and investment climate than the United States, and that China’s share of private sector cleantech funding is growing rapidly. Between 2000 and 2008, the United States attracted $52 billion in private capital for renewable energy technologies, but China alone attracted $41 billion. China secured more private investment in renewables and efficiency technologies than the U.S. for the first time in 2008.

“Small, indirect and uncoordinated incentives are not sufficient to outcompete Asia’s cleantech tigers,” the report says. “To regain economic leadership in the global clean energy industry, U.S. energy policy must include large, direct and coordinated investments in clean technology R&D, manufacturing, deployment and infrastructure.”


In Depth

Q&A: Open Season For Closed-End Funds

Aug 29 2014 | 10:00am ET

When Maury Fertig and Bob Huffman, former Salomon Brothers coworkers, launched...

Lifestyle

Och Funds Women In Finance Initiative At U-M

Aug 28 2014 | 3:01pm ET

Och-Ziff Capital founder Daniel Och and his wife have made a "generous donation"...

Guest Contributor

Looking Ahead: What’s In Store For Managed Futures?

Aug 22 2014 | 12:52pm ET

The last five years were phenomenal for investors in equity indices. Will the next...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

The time was right

Commodities/Futures magazine launched at the precipice of a revolution in the futures industry—really a revolution in the idea of risk management—that would move it from a small niche industry to ...

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.