Updated June 1, 2011 9:40 a.m. PT
Dan Reicher, professor of the practice of law and executive director of Stanford University’s Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, testified today before the House Natural Resources Committee on “American Energy Initiative: Identifying Roadblocks to Wind and Solar Energy on Public Lands and Waters, Part II – The Wind and Solar Industry Perspective.” The hearing was scheduled to address barriers to renewable energy development on U.S. public lands and waters.
The following is an excerpt of Professor Reicher’s testimony:
In my written testimony I review the many obstacles to a long-sought goal: the successful deployment of renewable energy at large scale and reasonable cost, with all the significant economic, security and environmental benefits. Let me emphasize that siting renewable energy projects on public lands – the focus of today’s hearing – is an obstacle to large-scale renewable energy deployment. But it is a relatively modest one and an obstacle that, to a large extent, Interior Secretary Salazar and the Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are effectively addressing.
What I worry more about more than siting renewable energy projects on public lands is successfully navigating the long and complicated road that takes a renewable energy technology from the first gleam in a scientist’s eye and an early pilot project all the way to the routine construction and operation of hundreds of full-scale commercial plants with low-cost financing and good paying jobs on all kinds of land – private and public. And in this regard I am concerned that we are increasingly getting beaten in the race down this road by the European Union and Asia, in particular China. Thus, while in 2004 the U.S. was the focus of approximately 20% of total global clean energy investment and China accounted for just 3%, in 2010, China saw 20% of that investment and the U.S. 19% – and this gap is rapidly widening.
And Mr. Chairman, the stakes are very large. The International Energy Agency forecasts that over $5.7 trillion will be invested in renewable energy globally over the next two decades. 2010 alone saw over $127 billion in renewable energy project financing. Unfortunately, it is looking less and less likely that investment will be here in the U.S.
Dan Reicher’s full written testimony is available in PDF format here:
Statement of Dan W. Reicher to the House Committee on Natural Resources Hearing on “American Energy Initiative: Identifying Roadblocks to Wind and Solar Energy on Public Lands and Waters, Part II – The Wind and Solar Industry Perspective” June 1, 2011