Google recently ventured outside the U.S. to put EURO 3.5 million (~$5 million) into a 18.7-MW German solar power plant near Berlin.
The thing about corporate globalization is that companies and investors are more free than ever to invest their money in a country other than their own. If their country isn’t leading on an issue they care about, they can at least push or invest in the issue elsewhere. It’s no surprise to anyone on here that the U.S. is missing out on some serious global investment in cleantech as our completely dysfunctional Congress is taken hostage by Tea Party extremists. While this latest news is of course good news and is indicative of the great work Germany is doing to incubate solar power in its country, it certainly makes me think about such things.
This solar power plant sits on about 116 acres and is estimated to generate enough power for approximately 5,000 homes German homes. And guess what? Over 70 percent of the solar panels installed at the power plant come from... Germany! Stimulating cleantech is a way to create jobs and boost the economy, as Obama and numerous others keep trying to explain to anti-science extremists from the Tea Party.
Yes, solar energy growth is tremendous in the U.S. of late and we are still home to a number of great companies, but we have lost a lot of our solar swagger to other countries as they steam ahead with much more progressive cleantech policies. Mathew Lynley of Venture Beats and concisely tells us one part of this story.
“The US solar power industry seems to be doing well and is on track to have a good year, but it looks like there is more interest in solar panel technology internationally - particularly in Germany and Japan,” Lynley writes. “That’s because a massive surge in residential solar panels in Germany and Japan fueled consumer demand for small-scale solar power projects, according to a report by Pew.”
Reprinted with permission from Cleantechnica