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A Stark Choice on Solar

November 17, 2011 - 10:19am

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An overview of government-backed financing offered by China and the United States to solar manufacturing companies (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofenergy/6353378979/in/photostream/lightbox/">Full Size</a>). | Energy Department Image

An overview of government-backed financing offered by China and the United States to solar manufacturing companies (Full Size). | Energy Department Image

As Secretary Chu pointed out in his testimony this morning, we as a nation are in the midst of fierce global race to capture the solar market. Bloomberg estimates that in the past year and a half alone, the China Development Bank has offered $34 billion in government-backed financing to solar manufacturing companies, while our own Loan Program has only extended $1.3 billion in financing for solar manufacturing projects since its inception. This not only illustrates a striking disparity in government support, it also demonstrates that countries like China believe that renewable energy sources such as solar are the future of energy production.

As a nation, we face a stark choice. We can sit back and cede our position in this burgeoning industry or we can stand up and compete. As Secretary Chu said today: America can and must compete.

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