As the 21st century moves through its second decade, these six powerful global forces will continue to accelerate clean-tech development, deployment, and growth around the world—and make clean tech the most vital competitive industry of our time. The U.S. can play a leading role in this industry—as it did in the earlier technology revolutions of computing, telecommunications, and the Internet—but currently, it is falling behind.
What can and should be done? In this book, we’ll show that while the challenge is great, the U.S. can absolutely meet it. We also recognize that in today’s interconnected global economy, competition among nations is not a zero-sum game. In many cases, collaborative approaches that create clean-tech jobs and grow businesses in both Ohio and China, say, are the best strategy to pursue. What we don’t want to see is the U.S. falling behind a large contingent of other nations in the race to own the key technologies of this century and to, in President Obama’s words, “win the future.” Yet that is precisely what we see happening without the important policy and business-strategy corrections that we’ll detail in the rest of this book.