While attending the Clean Energy Reception at MIT on June 14, 2011, I heard talks given by the President of MIT, Dr. Susan Hockfield, the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, and the former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. MIT is making great strides in terms of their program, the MIT energy initiative (MITEI), founded by President Hockfield two years ago. Governor Patrick summarized accomplishments in the renewable energy sector regarding standards, efficiency, loan programs and tax credits. Governor Granholm made the case for enacting policies to encourage the development of clean energy technologies, such as a national renewable portfolio standard. At present, only 29 states have such standards (e.g., 20 percent electricity generation from renewable sources by 2020).
An overarching question was, “Who is winning the clean energy race as of 2010?” The United States has slipped to third place behind China and Germany in terms of monetary investment and installed renewable energy capacity for wind, solar, biofuels, efficiency, and other renewables.
During the public question and answer session following the speeches, I suggested that there is a time period for the development and massive commercialization of new engine technologies and fuels for 137-million passenger cars in the United States. That period is 11 years from now because by the United States will be totally dependent on imported crude oil then. Seventy percent of U.S. crude oil is consumed by transportation, while the rest is used in manufacturing many products, such as plastics. (Please see post of June 14th).
Conclusion: No one at this reception seemed to be aware of an 11 year window, or any window for that matter.Tags: Clean Energy, MIT, New Engine Technologies, Passenger Cars, Renewable Energy, Tax Credits