green energy sources
In last week's State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a national challenge: Take the 11.5% of the U.S. electricity that emanates from clean-energy sources and boost it to 80% by 2035.
As with any game-changing direction - landing a man on the moon in a decade, bringing an end to the Cold War, curing cancer, or weaning our economy off of coal and crude oil - leaders such as President Obama provide the enticement.
But the market has to figure out how to get it done.
U.S. Clean Energy Investment Puts Upward Pressure on Rising Food Prices
In U.S. President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, he highlighted clean energy investment as a key component of America's future, one that will be reflected in his budget proposal for fiscal 2012.
"With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015," the president said in his speech to members of Congress. "[I]nstead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's."
This commitment to clean energy investment increases the importance of biofuels like ethanol, made from corn and other agricultural products. About 40% of U.S. corn is used to make ethanol, and increased ethanol production leads to higher corn and food prices.