“We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century. And yet, it is China that has launched the largest effort in history to make their economy energy efficient,” he said.
“We invented solar technology, but we’ve fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in producing it. New plug-in hybrids roll off our assembly lines, but they will run on batteries made in Korea. … It is time for America to lead again.”
President Obama also repeated his pledge to lay down “thousands of miles of power lines in addition to the doubling the use of renewables of the next three years.
“And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.”
US$15 billion a year
However, to succeed, Obama said that renewable energy must become “the profitable kind of energy” asking Congress to “send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America.
“And to support that innovation, we will invest US$15 billion a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.”
Example to the country
As an example of how the country, and the world, can face up to the clean energy challenge, President Obama referred to the town Greensburg in Kansas, which was completely destroyed by a tornado.
“[It] is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community – how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. “The tragedy was terrible,” said one of the men who helped them rebuild. “But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity.””