Since january of this year I have followed the news on alternative energy. In 2007, solar industry firms made a stellar run-up in stock values; much of the sector’s stock increased in value. The funny thing is, given the momentum of these firms, and their healthy prospectus as gas prices surged and economies stalled, the US federal government has failed to renew tax incentives for producers and buyers. And while the government has failed to pave the way for tax rebates for new purchases until the last minute (and we’re not there yet), the industry has witnessed a very real slowdown in new contracts. As of October this year, tax breaks on a myriad of efficient technologies will expire. By failing to aggressively renew these tax rebates, this budding sector of the economy has been dampened.
But it looks like we’ll get the tax breaks, after all. The Senate traded drilling rights on oceanic oil reserves for the tax breaks, T. Boone Pickens made progress getting his wind monopoly plans across to the public, and the President has signaled he will not exercise his veto on it. Passage, 93-2.
And off we go to the House… At the state-by-state level, green energy is a Republican-friendly agenda that resonates inside of state legislatures. If state governments want to go green sooner rather than later, then perhaps their federal counterparts in Congress will, too.
I think that the two biggest states, in terms of GDP, California and Texas, are both post-oil in many ways. Al Gore works in venture capital in Silicon Valley, T. Boone Pickens is into wind power in Pampa, TX.
Pickens now pumps his Pampa plant on ads on CNN, pushing the idea on the public that his wind farms can power the entire country. He would like for the government to hand him exclusive rights to supply the US power grid with wind energy from the wind belt, which is supposedly the Saudi Arabia of wind.
Statesman Gore is a solar man. He would just as soon have us skip the wind option, and go forward with sun-powered technologies.
If you have the time, you should rent the movie Peak Oil: A Crude Awakening, from Netflix. This scary little flick definitely favors solar.
The way I see it, you’ll have Texas favoring wind and nuclear, and California pulling for solar. So long as Pickens doesn’t try to lobby the government the same way Texans did with oil, we will have healthy energy diversity. Let me say this: if I weren’t running the company of the future, Next Acropolis, I would be pitching my skills as a software engineer and IT architect to solar firms, in the hopes of becoming a solar CIO.
I think young folks should be thinking about energy… the future boom in the economy will return to alternative energy very soon, now that the impetus to buy alt.en products will get bounced off your taxes.