Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a report recommending strategies that the Obama Administration can employ to attract new investments in clean energy and maintain American leadership in this growing sector.
The United States has long been a top destination for clean energy investment, which has helped it to capture many of the near-term economic, energy security, and environmental benefits that stem from expanded domestic clean energy generation. Since 2004, in fact, clean energy investment in the United States has increased nearly 250 percent to reach $36.7 billion in 2013.
However, America will need to do more to continue to compete successfully in the burgeoning clean energy economy. After leading the global clean energy investment race until 2008, the United States has fallen behind China in four of the past five years.
“The United States continues to be a world leader in clean energy investment, in part due to hard work by the Obama administration to maintain that position,” said Peter Ogden, Senior Fellow and Director of International Energy and Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress. “Unfortunately, Congress has failed to pass many of the laws needed to allow the United States to take full advantage of this growing market, and that’s why the administration should take these new steps to ensure that we maintain our competitiveness moving forward as China and others ramp up their efforts in this space.”
The countries that lead in clean energy investment can increase clean energy manufacturing capacity; secure greater global market share for their clean energy products; create jobs at home; and help to build strong economies fueled by energy and technologies that hedge against energy price volatility and future carbon pricing. To maintain its competitiveness, the United States will need to take bold new steps that build on what has been accomplished over the past five years and fill the voids left by the winding down of many of the important clean energy and energy efficiency programs and investments made through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or ARRA.
The report recommends that the Obama administration take the following actions to help drive continued investment in the clean energy sector:
Use forthcoming power plant standards to drive clean energy investment.
Attract foreign direct investment in new projects in the clean energy sector.