"May 9 new: Denmark tops cleantech producers, with China #2, U.S. #17; Reid preps bill to cut oil subsidies"
Denmark earns the biggest share of its national revenue from producing windmills and other clean technologies, the United States is rapidly expanding its clean-tech sector, but no country can match China’s pace of growth, according to a new report obtained by The Associated Press.
China’s production of green technologies has grown by a remarkable 77 per cent a year, according to the report, which was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature and which will be unveiled on Monday at an industry conference in Amsterdam.
“The Chinese have made, on the political level, a conscious decision to capture this market and to develop this market aggressively,” said Donald Pols, an economist with the WWF.
Denmark, a longtime leader in wind energy, derives 3.1 percent of its gross domestic product from renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, or about euro6.5 billion ($9.4 billion), the report said.
China is the largest producer in money terms, earning more than euro44 billion ($64 billion), or 1.4 percent of its gross domestic product.
The U.S. ranks 17 in the production of clean technologies with 0.3 percent of GDP, or euro31.5 billion ($45 billion), but those industries have been expanding at a rate of 28 percent per year since 2008.
A California investment firm has created a $250 million private equity investment fund that will provide capital to renewable energy and clean technology businesses with operations in Louisiana.
SAIL Capital Partners, an Irvine clean energy venture capital firm, through its subsidiary SAIL Sustainable Partners of Louisiana LLC, has created the Louisiana Sustainability Fund. The private equity fund intends to attract investment from private pension funds in Louisiana, said Walter Schindler, the fund’s chairman and a native of New Orleans, who now is based in California.
The companies that the fund invests in will also be required to have some operational presence in Louisiana, though they would not have to be based here.
“They have to have some definable nexus to the state of Louisiana that is significant,” Schindler said. “But we’ll judge them on a case by case basis.”
The investment firm chose Louisiana, Schindler said, because the state’s low operating costs for businesses and tax and economic incentives set the stage for larger returns.
“It’s a great place to go to escape from investing in China, for example,” Schindler said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) signaled Monday that the Senate would soon turn to a controversial piece of legislation to do away with billions of dollars in tax breaks for large oil producers and increase breaks for clean-energy producers.
As Reid welcomed Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to the Senate Monday afternoon. he noted the upper chamber would soon have opportunities to “make tough choices” and referred to the upcoming energy legislation.
“We’ll continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our nation’s deficit,” Reid said.
“We have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies who clearly don’t need taxpayer handouts,” Reid said. “As gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each senator will soon have the opportunity to stand with millionaires or with the middle class.”
Details are still emerging on when the bill might hit the floor. It represents the first controversial Senate-originated piece of legislation the upper chamber will take up this year.
The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose 11.98 cents in the past two weeks, but last week’s fall in crude oil prices may signal lower costs to come, an industry analyst said on Sunday.
The national average for self-serve, regular unleaded gas was $4 per gallon on May 6, up 11.98 cents from April 22, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.
This was still below the all-time high of $4.11 on July, 11, 2008, and last week’s fall in crude oil prices may lead to a 8- to 12-cent drop in prices at the pump over the next few weeks, according to Trilby Lundberg, the survey’s editor.
“If the current oil price stays, gas prices will slide,” Lundberg said, adding that gas prices had peaked around May 4, prior to a $12.06 drop in crude oil prices between May 4 and May 6.
There is already some evidence that gas prices are on a downward trend. In the wholesale market, which is made up of retailers and commercial buyers, prices are already dropping. Unbranded gasoline is down 21 cents per gallon, while branded gasoline is down 14 cents per gallon since Monday, May 2, Lundberg said.