The United States clean technology sector finds China’s booming population and energy needs, as well as its growth in the global renewable energy market, as both an opportunity and a threat, industry leaders said.
California-based law firm Cooley L.L.P. surveyed 126 executives in the clean technology sector and discovered that about 90 percent of them believe that China’s strong support for clean technology endeavours will significantly affect clean technology companies and investors in the United States.
However, the respondents were undecided whether the effect will be negative or positive. Fifty-three percent of the respondents say that the market opportunity in China overshadows the challenge of increased competition, while the remaining 47 percent claim this competition prevails over the opportunity for potential market growth.
But despite the substantial number of respondents eyeing China as a threat, only 10 percent see international competition as the greatest obstacle. Meanwhile, 68 percent believe that financing is still the major concern.
Furthermore, 51 percent and 49 percent of the respondents still believe that there is nearly equal opportunity for potential market growth domestically and internationally, respectively, even with more intense competition from China.
Respondents cited three key initiatives that the United States government must undertake to uphold its competitiveness in the global clean energy sector over the next decade. According to them, the government must create energy-related legislative mandates, expand the availability of tax credits and incentives and establish a more competitive trade policy to be at par with its global competitors in the clean energy market.
While President Barack Obama touted his federal stimulus plan as a major contributing factor to the growth of clean technologies in the United States, only less than 10 percent believe that the plan did have a huge impact on the development of the clean energy market. Fifty-four percent say that the plan had a moderate impact on the clean energy sector, while 31 percent felt that it had little or no effect at all.
Cooley L.L.P. conducted this survey during its third annual Clean Energy and Technologies conference held earlier this November in Silicon Valley.