Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics, takes to Facebook today to review the Avengers, a movie about a bunch of superheroes banding together to save the world, “which focuses on a new, limitless clean energy source called ‘The Tesseract,’” according to Chu.
“In the film, there is evidently an intergalactic struggle to claim this new resource – one we can only win by relying on heroes like Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, and the Incredible Hulk,” Chu writes. “Naturally, the group includes a couple scientists!”
For the energy secretary, the movie shows the promise of green energy!
“While the ‘Tesseract’ may be fictional, the real-life global competition over clean energy is growing increasingly intense, as countries around the world sense a huge economic opportunity AND the opportunity for cleaner air, water, and a healthier planet,” Chu continues. “This is now a $260 billion global market, a sum that would impress even Tony Stark. According to the International Energy Agency, last year -- for the first time -- more money was invested worldwide in clean, renewable power plants than in fossil fuel power plants.”
These are not just opportunities for America or “Tesseract,” Chu will have you know, it is an opportunity that many around the world are seizing.
Given how big the opportunity is, and how fast it is growing, it is no surprise that 80 countries have adopted policies or incentives to capture a share of the clean energy market. The good news is that we have an advantage every bit as powerful as the Incredible Hulk: Americans’ talent for entrepreneurship and innovation is unrivalled by any other country in the world. We have world-leading scientific facilities that would make Bruce Banner green with envy, and the investments we’re making today in groundbreaking new technologies can help American businesses stay ahead of the curve.
Ultimately, however, the clean energy prize is still up for grabs and countries like China are competing aggressively. It’s not enough for us to simply invent the technologies of the future, we need to actually build and deploy them here as well. As President Obama noted recently, one step Congress should take immediately is to renew the expiring tax credits for clean energy – a step that will create jobs and help American companies compete. When it comes to clean energy, our motto should be: “Invented in America, Made in America, Sold Around the World.”
Of course, the Avengers is a movie—albeit a very successful, Hollywood flick. Chu’s inspiration seems a bit odd . . . and one can’t help but wonder where energy companies like Solyndra fit in the mix.