The US Department of Energy has traditionally concentrated its efforts and support on the oil industry, but in recent months it has shifted its stance towards renewables, and specifically towards wind energy, investing massive amounts in research and development and manufacturing. PES looks at the motivation behind this change and examines what economic factors and changes in the world’s markets may lie behind the department’s move Not since a certain Saul of Tarsus experienced the original Damascene conversion have we seen anything like it.
The previously oil-infatuated Department of Energy (DOE) has performed a total volte-face and is now veering markedly towards wind as a viable alternative solution to the country’s burgeoning energy problems. Certainly, it is worth examining the motivation behind the department’s apparent change of heart.
It’s not long of course before the trail leads firmly to the White House and to the Oval Office as President Obama muses on the nation’s future energy direction. In a speech last May, the newly-elected President announced more than $467m from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act to expand and accelerate the development, deployment, and use of geothermal and solar energy throughout the US. At the time, the President said: “We have a choice. We can remain the world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading exporter of clean energy.
We can hand over the jobs of the future to our competitors, or we can confront what they have already recognized as the great opportunity of our time: the nation that leads the world in creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy. That’s the nation I want America to be.” So could this be the beginnings of the death knell for our oil industry? If so, it certainly seems certain commentators are happy to fight back.