Probably not, but it seems to have helped at least to some degree. The stimulus package passed by Congress early in Barack Obama’s administration earmarked a tremendous amount of money and tax incentives for development of green energy. Approximately $43 billion was entrusted to the US Department of Energy for jumpstarting renewable energy projects, but that doesn’t mean all of that has been spent: by some estimates only $10 billion of that money has reached the marketplace. The problem, some argue, is that renewable energy is still economically noncompetetive with traditional fossil fuels. Whether that balance can be changed by government policy or by market forces, or some symbiosis of both, is open to debate. My personal belief is that, although nonrenewable energy is still in a difficult starting phase, the long-term profit potential of it is the single biggest motivator toward development of truly green energy. Yes, it’s expensive and difficult to generate significant amounts of energy from solar power or exotic ideas like algae fuel. However, the first company to break open the barriers to making that type of energy economical–which is inevitable–is going to reap an immense long-term financial reward. Consequently, I think companies will continue to invest in green energy whether there is government money to support it or not; so, while certainly the stimulus helped, I believe economic factors are still the main ingredient in production of green energy.
(Note: the link I’m posting below is an opinion piece and should be regarded as such).
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