How to Excel in Renewable Energy

When Jimmy Carter was President, the U.S. was the world leader in solar cells and wind power. Today, most solar cells come from China and only one U.S. wind turbine supplier (GE Wind) ranks in the top ten for wind turbine market share. There is a long, sad story that explains how we got into this state of affairs. This story resembles the same trail of tears as that for numerous manufacturing sectors once dominated by the U.S., including machine tools, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, and consumer electronics: In a nutshell, other nations play by different rules than the U.S. when it comes to international trade. This difference in viewpoints has caused many manufacturers to migrate to countries with policies that stack the deck toward protecting industries residing within their borders.

But we don’t have to cede renewable energy manufacturing to other countries, according to Leland Teschler, editor of Energy Efficiency & Technology. And we can rectify the situation without paying much attention to labor unions, K-12 education, or any of the other scapegoats that are often blamed for the demise of U.S. manufacturing....