Last year, China invested twice as much in clean energy as the U.S., ultimately leading to Chinas control of 35 percent of the global market in solar panels. Overall, the U.S., according to Green America, is the 10th in the world in investments in clean energy as a percentage of the national economy. After the initial disaster of the Gulf oil spill, many Americans voiced their concern about clean energy and addressed the increasing gap America has in finding an answer to that of other countries. In an effort to solve Americas need for clean energy, Green America is proposing Clean Energy Victory Bonds to the American public.
Modeled after the successful World War II Victory Bonds, Clean Energy Victory Bonds (CEVB) are an opportunity for the American population to lend their help in the green energy effort. In the past, 85 million Americans bought Victory Bonds to help restore the U.S. economy. The federal program raised the equivalent of $2 trillion in todays currency. This monumental event of the American public lending their support to the U.S. Government is what sparked Green Americas idea to duplicate the process. However, instead of helping the economy directly through war efforts, the Victory Bonds for green energy are now aimed at helping the planets wellbeing. With a mass investment to green energy, oil and dangerous gasses can be targeted resources to be replaced with new found efforts through green research.
Essentially, a bond is a financial loan where an investor lends a debt investment to an entity, usually government or corporate related. Like most loans, a bond has an interest rate and will be paid back to the investor over the course of a yearly span. CEVBs can be structured as long term bonds (10+ years) and are made easily assessable to the American public by the optional small investment amounts: $100, $50, and even as low as $25. According to Todd Larsen from Yes magazine, the green energy bonds would pay an annual interest rate back to the buyer, based partially on the energy savings or climate change emissions reductions generated by the investments from Clean Energy Victory Bonds.
As a whole, Green America believes the CEVBs would benefit the economy, the environment, and investors, by:
- uniting individuals, communities, and companies to help finance the rapid deployment of renewable energy projects and energy efficiency upgrades;
- enabling anyone with savings to help put new renewable projects on the ground, with an investment as little as $100;
- offering flexible redemption options between 12 months and 30 years;
- creating a safe investment for Americans that pays a competitive rate of return; and
- helping to create 1.7 million new jobs deploying and maintaining renewable energy development projects.
Although some are skeptical about loaning money to federal government projects, many Yes magazine members voiced a positive reply to Green Americas proposal of CEVBs. The magazine believes not only are the bonds ideal for making progress in green investment, but with the reclining economy and increasing unemployment rate, the bonds can also provide U.S. jobs.