In all the turmoil associated with the Euro debt crisis in Greece, Ireland, Portugal and now Italy, a major movement in energy policy has taken place. Germany has voted to re-align their energy development to replace their previous commitment to nuclear power with renewables- solar, wind and even geothermal.
This is groundbreaking because this is the green energy technologies and commitments that first the US and lately China have reserved for their economies. But the US is hopelessly entrenched in a rabidly partisan policy battles along a whole line of of topics from taxation to debt limits thru to finnacial regulation. Energy policy in the US is going nowhere as Reublicans not only reject almost all green policies but also are holding up budgets and appointments to key posts that are months old. And XChina’s needs have shifted such that nuclear power has become a key player despite the tsunami in Japan and many seismically active regions within China.
So as the New Scientist reports in its July 9th issue[page 5] Germany is commited to phase out Nuclear power by 2022. This means some of the advanced nuclear strategies like low waste product Thorium generators and new generation processing will be left to France and other nuclear players. Also Germany plans to double its green renewables to 35% of all enery generation by 202o. This is a massive committment which will help the already strong German solar industry to develop ever more efficient systems. And Germany has the domestic glass, optics, electronics, and energy engineering industries to become a major self-supplier.
Just another example of where dysfunctional partisan politics in the US creates huge “unforced errors” which means that US Business will leave the playing field of huge future markets to those who can plan and compete.