What's Driving the Trillion Dollar Clean Economy?
Here are just some of the facts and trends driving the clean economy. Many experts agree these same factors will significantly and negatively impact virtually all other major market sectors and investments.
We're Addicted to Oil.
10 Million barrels per day | US dependence upon foreign oil contributes to drastic price fluctuations, weakens the value of dollar, and threatens national and energy security. In May 2009, the United States' daily crude oil import rate was 10 million barrels.
1.1 billion tons | In 2007, the US consumed 1.1 billion tons of coal, an energy equivalent in Btu's of 3.8 billion barrels of oil. To replace the US domestic use of coal, we would have to more than double our volume of imported oil.
The US Economy Is Sluggish.
1 in 10 | The number of Americans who want a job but are unable to secure employment. Even more wage earners are presently under employed. Many of the jobs lost in the last three years have been cut from sectors that are not expected to recover any time soon.
Green House Gas Regulations is More Stringent.
7 trillion metric tons In 2008 | The US Supreme Court ruled that the EPA has authority to monitor and regulate the 7 trillion metric tons of US-produced green house gas.
2009 Green House Gas Ruling | The EPA has declared that green house gases including CO2, and methane are a human health hazard. In preparation to further restrict green house gas production, the EPA has announced new rules requiring industry to monitor and report green house gas production and emission.
Local and Federal Energy Policy Driving Change.
29 States | The number of states that currently mandate and incentivize renewable energy distribution. States have set renewable energy standards from 10%–33% of total electrical distribution.
33% | California leads the green energy revolution with a 33% renewable energy mandate by 2020.
50% | A growing number of local utilities now pay renewable energy cash rebates—in some cases as high as half the total project cost.
30% | The federal government is currently paying cash incentives equal to 30% of the cost of renewable energy projects.
5 year credits | Investment Tax Credits and accelerated depreciation for US-based businesses that install clean energy extend over a five-year period.
85% in 5 years | Under the MACRS rules for depreciation, 85% of a clean energy project can be depreciated over just 5 years with 50% of the total depreciation taken in the first year.
100% ++ | Today, the combination of local, state, and federal incentives can exceed 100% of the total cost of installing a renewable energy system.
Sources: Congressional 2009 Energy Bill; CNN; President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology; U.S. Department of Energy; North Carolina Solar Center; DSIRE