Global Green USA pledges for $50 billion solar fund
At the World Summit on Sustainable
Development in Johannesburg in early September, the US affiliate of
the environment group Green Cross International, Global Green USA,
started an initiative for a $50 billion fund to promote solar energy.
The group says the money should come
through reducing subsidies for coal, oil, gas, and nuclear energy that
the World Bank estimated in 1998 to equal $210 billion a year.
The Solar Venture Fund seeks to bring PV-generated kilowatt-hour
prices down from approximately $0.25 to $0.06 over the next decade. To
achieve this, the program should spend an annual $5 billion to
purchase, manufacture, and develop PV. Matt Petersen, president of
Global Green USA, says the major share of funding should be used for
buy-down programs, loan subsidies, and tax credits. His group wants
countries to contribute a percentage correlating to their energy use –
which means the US would pay $12.5 billion because their share of
world energy consumption is 25 percent. Petersen hopes to raise this
sum by »encouraging local and state action in the US.« He says members
of the US Congress have already expressed an interest in urging the US
to support its share of the fund. The venture plans to work with local
governments, financial institutions, and solar companies to leverage
the $50 billion by a factor of four or more.
Green Cross is targeting 20 percent of the world´s energy to be
generated by renewables and wants to make solar energy the key source
of electricity generation for the 21st century. The organization was
founded in 1993 by former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev and has
26 national affiliates.
© PHOTON International, November 2002