The Hour EarthTalk blog recently published a thorough exploration of renewable energy, discussing government subsidies and weighing the merits of the green energy industry against “dirty energy” fossil fuels. EarthTalk stated that energy subsidies have historically been given to support fossil fuels in an effort to encourage more domestic energy production, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
A recent report by the CBO details that in 2011, $16 billion of citizen tax dollars went toward the development of renewable energy and efforts to increase national energy efficiency, while only $2.5 billion went to the fossil fuels industry. This demonstrates the shift in support from the oil industry to renewables, with EarthTalk reporting that “the Obama administration and many others would like to see any such subsidies to the oil industry stripped completely.”
While the swing in support to renewables is apparent, some are concerned it may not be enough, calling for increased subsidies and the extension of incentives to continue to drive the industry forward.
A report out June 27 from Frost & Sullivan details the challenges of “exorbitant” U.S. energy demands, saying the U.S. accounts for 26 percent of world energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. With the call for support still strong, it remains to be seen how far the government is willing to go in subsidizing the industry, or if it will find alternative means of supporting growth.