The “green gold rush” is on. Global investment in renewable energy surged some 60 percent, to $148 billion last year. Investment in clean energy from wind, solar and biofuels rose three times faster in 2007 than predicted by the UN Environmental Program, with wind power attracting $50.2 billion, a third of all clean energy investments. Investment in solar energy soared by 254 percent to $28.6 billion last year. This “green gold rush” is propelled by the soaring fossil-fuel prices, and concerns over carbon dioxide emissions that fuel global warming.
The world is at an undeniable crossroad. Projections show three to four times more electrical power could be required over the next 50 years to support continued growth in population and economic output Solarlight. Clean, renewable sources are the answer. “Unlike other major energy transitions, such as wood-to-coal and coal-to-oil, moving from oil to alternatives will be forced and rapid,” writes Charles Cresson Wood, President of Post-Petroleum Transportation, a consulting firm.
In the last six years, uranium prices have moved from $7 a pound to $80 a pound. Coal has moved from $22 a ton delivered at the plant to $55 a ton, and natural gas has gone from $2 per million BTUs to $12 per million BTUs. Oil went from $20 a barrel to $145 a barrel.
As these dirty energy resources become more costly, so follows the delivered price of electricity jumping by 70 percent in the last six years in New Jersey and many other states. All analysts expect continued increases in electricity costs.
94% of Americans say it’s important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy. 72% favor extension of Federal tax credits for renewable technologies, and 77% of Americans want the government to make solar power development a national priority, according to the independent polling firm, Kelton Research, June 10, 2008. “These results are an undeniable signal to our elected leaders that Americans want job-creating solar power, now,” said Rhone Resch, President of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).