Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to Help Ukraine: Solar Foreign Policy

In today's newspaper it was announced that Russia has once again cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine.  This will, no doubt, be a huge economic blow to Ukraine, since so much of their industry depends on a reliable source of gas.

Our first response to international crises is often to send military aid of one kind or another.  In this case, we should send another kind of aid, one that will benefit both the United States and Ukraine.

Here's my idea:  let's buy a billion dollars worth of solar panels from United States manufacturers and then ship them to Ukraine along with other equipment necessary for storing electricity and for converting gas-powered plants to electric-powered plants.

The upside for us is obvious: a billion dollars invested in U.S. industries, an increase in engineering and related jobs, and money invested in companies that will turn much of what they earn into R&D.  In addition, we'll have helped another country achieve a little bit of energy independence. This seems like an excellent goal of U.S. foreign policy.


(Full disclosure: I own shares of First Solar and Tesla, American companies that might benefit from such an investment.)

No comments:

Post a Comment