The debate over clean energy jobs is at an all-time high amidst the recent Solyndra bankruptcy and the Obama administration seeking passage of a jobs bill. Despite recent questions related to how viable a clean energy economy can be, DOE Secretary Steven Chu urges people to not diminish their support of clean energy.
Steven Chu spoke before a group of young solar innovators, urging them and the United States to try to stay ahead of the clean energy race. Steven Chu and other supporters point to China, where support for clean energy is much higher than that of the United States. Chu emphasized that it is not only important to generate clean energy, but also to create a new United States economy that could help alleviate some of the burden placed on it by the recent faltering economy.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) recently projected that solar power could grow to 20% of the world’s electricity in the coming decades. The reports highlights the potential economic gain in leading this advance in solar, amongst other renewable energy technologies.
However, the state of the economy has led some to believe that the United States is not in a position to gain traction in the “clean energy race”. Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversights and Investigations Cliff Stearns told NPR recently that he didn’t believe the United States could compete with China in making solar panels and wind turbines, and that the United States should not be focusing on trying to.
The debate over the United States’ stance on clean energy will most certainly heat up as the 2012 election approaches.