Invest in Research in Every Form of Alternative Energy - Solar, Wind, Biofuels

Promise Honored President Obama is keeping the following promise:

"We'll invest in research in every form of alternative energy - solar, wind, biofuels." — "Blueprint for Change Energy Video"


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Updated: February 20, 2009

Stimulus provides money for alternative energy research

Even though this is a vague promise we included it because it established a clear policy direction for Obama's energy agenda. Obviously, this promise does not have any dollar figures attached to it, so in order to fulfill it, Obama needed only to put new money into alternative energy research.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the economic stimulus package, has a lot for alternative energy. At the bill signing on Feb. 17, Obama boasted it "will double the amount of renewable energy produced over the next three years." Of chief interest to most alternative energy companies are measures to create a Clean Energy Finance Authority to provide loan guarantees and other financial support to relieve the credit crunch that has squeezed the industry. In addition, the plan includes renewable tax credits. Together, the White House expects the plan to lead to nearly $100 billion in clean energy projects.

While significant, those programs don't address Obama's promise to increase federal funding for research into alternative energy like solar, wind and biofuels. But there is money in the stimulus for that as well.

"It's a great bill for renewable energy, it really is," said Gregory Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association. And while the research money is "helpful" and more plentiful than in the past, Wetstone said, "that's not what's really critical. It's really more about getting the technology that's already out there, and which has been demonstrated to work, deployed."

Nonetheless, Obama promised more money for alternative energy research, and the stimulus bill provides it.


White House Web site, "Press release: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Moving America Toward a Clean Energy Future," Feb. 17, 2009

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