08/04/2010 - Innovative technological ideas that originate from small American manufacturing companies often go unrewarded. Why? Because often those companies don't have the ability to take their innovations to the world through an aggressive exporting program.
Although the United States is the unequivocal leader in energy innovation, we lose out to countries like China and Germany when it comes to manufacturing equipment for solar energy, biofuels, fuel cells, water remediation and renewable power generation. These countries provide a host of incentives and recruitment advantages to lure companies away from the United States. Meanwhile, our small manufacturing facilities are often unable to secure even traditional bank loans.
As a result, our energy security, environmental security and our economic security are at risk. Something has to change. Right now, the United States is in a fierce competition to develop companies to generate and use energy more efficiently and cheaply. At stake is our global leadership, with the country that succeeds in developing and exporting clean technology products becoming the global economic leader and job creator.
In 2009, China attracted $34.6 billion in clean energy investments, while U.S. companies gathered just $18.6 billion, according to the Pew Environment Group Climate and Energy Program in Washington. Given that the United States spends five times this amount on cigarettes, something has to change.
Read the full editorial, U.S. Needs Clean Tech Investment on the San Francisco Chronicle's Web site.