As we have noted, ESG investing is on the rise. One branch of this investment method is targeted at green and clean energy. When investing to help create a greener world and to make a profit along the way, you need to delve into the specifics, one of which happens to be battery production. As the world pivots to electric vehicles, solar and wind farms, and other green methods of generating electricity, battery storage is essential. Unfortunately, the USA lags far behind Europe and China and will be in a position of having to rely on foreign supply chains for essential tools in green energy development.
Government Programs for Green Energy
The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy branch of the US Department of Energy currently offers funding following evaluation of energy projects.
Through cooperative agreements, EERE provides financial or other support to stimulate the development and deployment of renewable and energy efficient technologies authorized by federal statute. Under cooperative agreements, the government and recipients share responsibility for the project direction.
However, these programs and the amounts of money involved need to increase greatly in the area of battery production if the USA is not to fall farther behind China and Europe.
Unfortunately, green energy programs withered during the Trump administration, leaving the USA further behind like what happened with solar panels and 5G. As we noted in our 5G article, none of the industry leaders in developing 5G are US companies employing US workers.
Battery Production as Part of Clean Energy
The Washington Post writes about clean energy jobs and how the USA is far behind its competitors.
As the Biden administration promises to jump-start the clean-energy economy, it faces an uphill climb: The United States has fallen behind Asia and Europe in the race to produce the central technology, the high-tech batteries that power electric cars and store solar and wind energy.
The Post goes on to explain that China has ninety-three huge factories manufacturing lithium-ion battery cells while the USA has four. If current plans are followed, China will have one hundred thirty such factories by 2030, Europe will have seventeen, and the USA will have ten. This will leave the USA in a vulnerable position if supply chains are interrupted, will continue to terrible balance of payment issues that the USA currently has with China, and will cause the USA to miss out of a gold mine of clean energy jobs and investments!
Taking Advantage of US Research and Development
The USA is the leader in early stage battery research via federally funded universities and national laboratories. What the USA does not do is support local efforts to convert this edge in technology into modern, high-tech, industrial capacity that creates jobs, provides investment profits, and helps maintain US technological and modern industrial leadership in the world.
Clean Energy Investment Opportunities in the Biden Administration
If you read the clean energy proposals to be put forth by the Biden administration you will see that funding will go toward the sort of investments we are discussing.
Power Sector: Move ambitiously to generate clean, American-made electricity to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. This will enable us to meet the existential threat of climate change while creating millions of jobs with a choice to join a union.
The problems in the way include the Covid-19 pandemic, rescue funds for struggling businesses and families, and getting enough folks vaccinated to get the economy back to a semblance of normal. Then, the estimated price tag of $2 trillion will cause concern. However, much of that can be financed with long term bonds guaranteed by the federal government and paid for over many years at historically low interest rates. What remains to be seen is if Biden and congress will be able to work together to get this done. If so, there will be substantial investment opportunities in the green energy sector staring with production of batteries in the USA.
Clean Energy Investment Specifics: Battery Production – Slideshare Version