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Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy

Overview

With other nations aggressively forging ahead in clean tech—including renewable energy, smart grid, electric vehicles, and green buildings—how can the United States position itself for success?

On its current path, the United States risks losing out on the most critical opportunity for job creation and global economic leadership in the 21st century. China is spending hundreds of billions on clean tech and is now the world leader in solar-panel and wind-turbine manufacturing. ...

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Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy

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Overview

With other nations aggressively forging ahead in clean tech—including renewable energy, smart grid, electric vehicles, and green buildings—how can the United States position itself for success?

On its current path, the United States risks losing out on the most critical opportunity for job creation and global economic leadership in the 21st century. China is spending hundreds of billions on clean tech and is now the world leader in solar-panel and wind-turbine manufacturing. Germany plans to shutter all its nuclear power plants within a decade and build a new energy economy focused on renewables and efficiency. Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, India, and many others are also enthusiastically pursuing these burgeoning possibilities. If the U.S. is to remain dominant, as it has in the earlier high-tech and Internet revolutions, it needs to supercharge efforts at every level—in federal, state, and city governments, and in schools, small businesses, and large companies.

Industry experts Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder combine insightful analysis with lively storytelling to assess current clean-tech leaders worldwide, while highlighting front-running U.S. cities and states. Offering a Seven-Point Action Plan for Repowering America—with such controversial steps as ending all energy subsidies within ten years, launching a national smart infrastructure bank, and creating a new breed of clean-tech investment tools modeled on the oil and gas industries—Clean Tech Nation sounds a compelling and achievable call to action.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this follow-up to their 2007 book, The Clean Tech Revolution, clean energy experts Pernick and Wilder are clearly glass half-full kind of guys, and readers inclined to optimism about the future will find much encouraging material. However, Pernick and Wilder offer precious little to convert pessimists, whether about the merits of the numerous proposals to use energy more cleanly and efficiently, or the ability of the federal government to get meaningful things done. Mixing anecdotes, facts, and charts with trenchant analysis, the authors point out, for example, how energy independence for the U.S., both as a national security issue and an economic one, should be supported, even by skeptics. Many fascinating innovations are underway, including the development of smart electrical grids, which by providing consumers detailed analytics about their electrical consumption, enable households to save 1.5%–3.5% per month (a modest number until the impact of applying such technology nationwide is projected at total savings of billion per year). As fascinating as this survey of the current state of play is, the authors don’t quite end up justifying the book’s subtitle; to the contrary, they cite a Thomas Friedmanesque flat world to suggest that clean technology breakthroughs will “bloom in a thousand places,” rather than depending on one dominant superpower. Agent: Riverside Creative Management. (Sept.)
John Podesta
“Five years ago, Pernick and Wilder predicted a clean-energy revolution. Today, that revolution is already underway-but without an aggressive energy strategy, America’s leadership will falter. The action plan in this book is just what the country needs, and Pernick and Wilder are expert guides once again.”
John Hofmeister
“Pernick and Wilder powerfully articulate the trends and developments reshaping the clean-tech landscape and provide both compelling and comprehensive solutions. They intelligently lay out what’s needed next, offering controversial yet reconcilable steps to enable profound progress in the U.S.”
Dan Esty
“Bursting with data, case studies, and market insights, Clean Tech Nation is must reading for business leaders, investors, policymakers, scholars, environmental advocates, and anyone else who cares about America’s energy and environmental future.”
David Crane
Clean Tech Nation deftly illustrates how well placed and naturally advantaged the United States is in the Clean Tech race and offers a coherent and realistic seven point action plan designed to secure that lasting advantage for the benefit of the American people.”
Bill Ritter
“If the U.S. wants to maintain its status as the world’s leading economy it must put a stake in the ground for the clean tech sector. Here, the authors describe how the U.S. can seize this opportunity to lead, create jobs, and be an innovation engine.”
Mark Vachon
“Too many are giving up on the U.S.’s critical role in building a clean-tech future. Against this backdrop, Clean Tech Nation makes an effective case for U.S. leadership and a path to get there.”
L. Hunter Lovins
“A new sustainable economy is unfolding rapidly around the world, led by forward-looking companies, governments, and individuals. Here, Pernick and Wilder offer a clear, compelling, and inspiring path for the U.S. to seize the reins of this once-in-a-generation business opportunity.”
Michael T. Eckhart
“This book conveys an insightful insider’s view of renewable energy and clean-tech markets, industry, finance, and policy in a way that will leave the reader with a deeper understanding of how this revolution happened and where it must go next.”
Ralph Cavanagh
“Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder have created a compelling vision for a Clean Tech Nation and a roadmap for creating it, even as they surprise and delight readers with a rich account of progress already achieved. I salute their unique combination of technical savvy, practical sense, and imperishable enthusiasm.”
Dan Reicher
“Clean tech is growing up. In Clean Tech Nation, Pernick and Wilder take an important look at the industry’s challenging adolescent years and what it will take, in terms of both public and private action, to reach a successful adulthood - financially and societally.”
Puon Penn
“Pernick and Wilder present both practical and thought-provoking ideas for financing the clean-tech sector. Their book offers a compelling call-to-action, for investors, policymakers, and others, to fuel America’s energy and economic future.”
President - Bill Clinton
"Clean Tech Nation dares to imagine a country in which bipartisanship reigns, green energy is our nation’s greatest national resource, and our competitive edge in the global economy is restored."
Rick Needham
“Clean Tech Nation makes a compelling case not only for why the U.S. needs to focus on smart policies to drive clean-tech leadership, but how. The authors’ action plan can help unleash America’s innovative energy and ensure that we don’t cede this trillion-dollar opportunity to other nations.”
President Bill Clinton
“Clean Tech Nation dares to imagine a country in which bipartisanship reigns, green energy is our nation’s greatest national resource, and our competitive edge in the global economy is restored.”
Booklist
“Strong on solid, easy to digest data and doesn’t promote a political agenda....[A]n excellent resource for state and local planning commissions and a model for developing a clean national energy policy.”
Kirkus Reviews
Two consultants associated with Clean Edge, a clean-tech advisory firm, review potential areas for investment in clean energy and technology. Pernick and Wilder (co-authors: Clean Tech Revolution, 2007, etc.) believe that America is at a crossroads, bedeviled by a still-slow economy but poised to become a clean-technology powerhouse. "[C]lean tech," they write, "has become the most critical industry of the 21st century--an essential component to global economic success for all developed countries, and increasingly for developing nations as well." They review the latest developments--substantial price decreases in solar voltaic cells, wind power, electric vehicles and more--but consider the most significant development to be on the capital front with the growing involvement of venture capitalists. State and federal mandates have encouraged this development--e.g., federally mandated use of energy-efficient light bulbs and state regulations requiring utilities to incorporate alternate energies in the power mix. Pernick and Wilder also welcome a broadening of the debate from a narrow focus on global warming to a wider concern with environmental issues such as clean air and clean water. One of their most original contributions is their discussion of the synergistic relationship between urbanization and the creation of centers of innovation, spotlighting "15 U.S. clean-tech cities." In 2008, half of the world's population was living in cities, a development fueled by China's rapid urbanization. This has encouraged the development of hubs in which there is a "concentration of intellectual and financial capital, business acumen, and university and research-lab R&D." The authors compare these clean-tech clusters to the earlier development of Detroit's automobile industry, Hollywood's film industry and Silicon Valley's computer and software industry. An informative, optimistic look at how a partnership between private capital and government can unleash America's innovative capabilities.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062088444
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/4/2012
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Pernick is cofounder and managing director of Clean Edge, a leading clean-tech research and advisory firm, is coauthor of the book The Clean Tech Revolution, and has co-produced the annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit. He also manages the company's stock and leadership index products and services and is a consultant for governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs. Pernick is widely cited in the media, and lectures at industry events in the U.S. and abroad. He has taught MBA-level courses at New College and Portland State University. He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon.

Clint Wilder is senior editor at Clean Edge and coauthor of The Clean Tech Revolution. He is an award-winning business journalist who has covered the high-tech and clean-tech industries since 1985. He coauthors reports and writes columns on industry trends for Clean Edge and has been a facilitator at the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a frequent speaker at clean-energy and green business events in the U.S. and overseas, and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. He lives with his wife in Sausalito, California.

Clint Wilder is senior editor at Clean Edge and coauthor of The Clean Tech Revolution. He is an award-winning business journalist who has covered the high-tech and clean-tech industries since 1985. He coauthors reports and writes columns on industry trends for Clean Edge and has been a facilitator at the Clinton Global Initiative. He is a frequent speaker at clean-energy and green business events in the U.S. and overseas, and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post. He lives with his wife in Sausalito, California.

Ron Pernick is cofounder and managing director of Clean Edge, a leading clean-tech research and advisory firm, is coauthor of the book The Clean Tech Revolution, and has co-produced the annual Clean-Tech Investor Summit. He also manages the company's stock and leadership index products and services and is a consultant for governments, corporations, and entrepreneurs. Pernick is widely cited in the media, and lectures at industry events in the U.S. and abroad. He has taught MBA-level courses at New College and Portland State University. He lives with his wife and two children in Portland, Oregon.

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