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Clean Tech Nation: How the U.S. Can Lead in the New Global Economy Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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“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 Podesta, Chair and Counselor, Center for American Progress)
“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.” (John Hofmeister, Founder and CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy, Former President, Shell Oil Company)
“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.” (Dan Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, Yale University, Author of Green to Gold)
“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.” (David Crane, President and CEO of NRG Energy)
“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.” (Bill Ritter, Former Governor, Colorado, Director, Center for the New Energy Economy)
“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.” (Mark Vachon, Vice President of GE, Ecomagination)
“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.” (L. Hunter Lovins, President of Natural Capitalism Solutions, Coauthor of Climate Capitalism)
“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.” (Michael T. Eckhart, Managing Director, Global Head of Environmental Finance for Citi Corporate and Investment Banking)
“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.” (Ralph Cavanagh, Energy Program Co-Director for National Resources Defense Council)
“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.” (Dan Reicher, Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University, Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Energy)
“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.” (Puon Penn, Senior Vice President, Head of Global CleanTech Markets, Wells Fargo)
“An informative, optimistic look at how a partnership between private capital and government can unleash America’s innovative capabilities.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“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.” (Booklist)
“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.” (President Bill Clinton)
“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.” (Rick Needham, Director, Energy & Sustainability, Google)
From the Back Cover
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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Top customer reviews
Making sense of all the different parts of the clean-tech economy can be overwhelming. This book does it in a straightforward way. It has enough data to back up its claims, but never falls into mind-numbing market research territory. It's a must-read for those who need to keep current on clean-tech business and policy, and for those working to shape the future.
But in my eyes, the book has a major fault that makes me give it the lowest possible ranking: I think the authors need to cite their sources. The book is packed with facts and quotes. But it contains not a single footnote. Instead, the authors have "NOTES" at the end of the book, where they list their sources. In a book like this, I don't think that's enough.
Let me give one example. On page 212, the authors say the following:
"There was a major shift in electronics and computing, and at least half the credit goes to Apollo," said Stanford University aeronautics professor and former NASA engineer G. Scott Hubbard. "Without it, you wouldn't have a laptop. You'd still have things like the UNIVAC."
That quote interested me, and I assumed that the authors interviewed Scott Hubbard and he said these words to them. Not so. I got on the Internet, and found that the words came from a Computerworld article by Sharon Gaudin, published July 20, 2009. In their Notes, the authors say that "This chapter used data and quotes from a variety of interviews, conference presentations, reports, and print and online articles." A bare list of sources then follows, including: "Quoted publications included . . . Computerworld, July 20, 2009; . . .."
Similar examples fill the book. (Wikipedia was also generically listed as a source. That seems rather ridiculous.) Maybe that kind of thing is fine these days. But to me it's not. If you want to quote another source, you need to source it. Directly, by name of the person who wrote the words quoted, not with some catchall afterthought. That's the rule I learned back in high school. To me, that lack of proper citations is serious enough to give this book a single star rating.
Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder have done a great job in this book to help everyone understand the technologies and policies necessary for the US to get back its position as a leader in the race to develop and deploy new energy technologies. Significant investment is happening - unfortunately it is now happening more outside the US than in the US. This book is a call to action for all citizens. I can only hope every governor, mayor and members of the US Congress get a copy of this book.
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