The “green” technology boom is being heralded as the next technological revolution, able to lower greenhouse gas emissions, promote economic growth and create millions of new jobs. A number of new policies are being adopted at both the national and local levels to foster the growth and adoption of the new green technologies—including production tax credits for solar, wind and geothermal; renewable portfolio standards; and feed-in tariffs, to name a few. Solar energy has benefitted from increased private investment and public subsidies in recent years but seems to remain ever on the edge of breakthrough.
On April 28, the Energy Security Initiative at Brookings hosted the first in a series of events that will examine the prospects for these potentially game-changing energy technologies to make the shift from alternative to mainstream. Experts from many sectors discussed the key political and economical barriers and opportunities for utility-scale solar energy. Two panel discussions explored a wide range of questions, including: What will it take to grow a viable solar industry in the United States? What policies could move solar energy into more widespread use and achieve grid parity? What are the job implications for the United States if other countries take the lead in developing the technology? And what role is public awareness or a lack thereof playing in solar energy adoption?
After the program, panelists took audience questions.