US Risks Falling Behind Developing Nations in Electricity Technology - Page 3
One trait that sets the U.S. apart from the rest of the world is that many of our domestic electricity providers have made green electricity an option on a user by user level. For example, while a typical Texas household’s electricity is derived mostly from fossil fuels (90% from natural gas and coal), any family can choose to receive their electricity from 100% alternative sources (wind, hydro and solar). The cost difference between the “clean” electricity versus the “dirty” electricity is quite minimal. Opting for the green electricity in Houston is only 3% more expensive than the standard offering.
Although Texas is not alone in offering individuals a cheap and easy way to receive clean electricity, most states have yet to adopt this level of choice. The reason for this is twofold: lack of state and federal funds to provide the needed infrastructure, and the inability of the consumer to take on any addition increase in their monthly expenses – albeit a small yet ecologically-important one.
The Chinese government is investing massively in clean energy technologies. China has hundreds of government-run incubators and science parks focusing largely on alternative energy technology. While the American philosophy has traditionally considered private allocation of capital to be far more effective than government spending, the pure scale of the Chinese commitment cannot be ignored and for now, at least, puts China in the pole position in the race for tomorrow’s energy leadership.