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The Washington Clean Energy Conundrum

Posted in Federal Policy

Clean technologies will likely be the next big economic success story. If we want the industry’s hub to be in the U.S., not elsewhere, then there is a clear, financially prudent role for government to play during this stage of the industry’s development. There are three basic policy principles that will help provide necessary support to this growing sector of the economy, and that both Democrats and Republican leaders should be comfortable supporting:

  1. Government should adopt performance standards, rather than subsidies and direct investments, to spur demand for and encourage innovation in clean technologies
  2. Government should craft smarter subsidy programs and tax policies that encourage private investment to bring clean technologies to market
  3. Government should act as an early adopter for clean technologies to drive demand and help manufacturers achieve the economies of scale

For a more in-depth look at the ways in which government can strategically support the clean technology sector, see our article, “D.C.’s clean-energy conundrum.”