The New York times has some answers:
There are myriad reasons why green jobs have grown more slowly than hoped. The clean energy component of the $787 billion stimulus package has only recently started to kick in. Energy experts say that banks, which have been reluctant to lend generally, have been especially loath to lend for alternative energy projects.
And renewable-energy companies are hesitating to invest in new plants and equipment before Congress enacts new environmental mandates, like cap and trade, to limit carbon emissions. In addition, the long recession (along with correspondingly slack energy demand) caused the clean-energy industry to delay expansion plans.
As a result, the United States is likely to install just one-eighth as much new solar power this year as Germany does, and China is expected to surpass the United States this year as the leader in adding new wind energy capacity.
“The renewable energy industry in the U.S. is an underdeveloped developing industry,” said Michael Peck, director of external affairs for Gamesa USA, a Spanish-owned company that has two wind turbine factories in Pennsylvania. “Manufacturers, developers, utilities, financiers — they don’t see the legislative pieces that they’re all hoping for to help the industry move forward.”
So basically, Congressional dithering and delay on climate change and clean energy legislation (undoubtedly under the influence of the powerful fossil fuel lobby) is causing us to lose green jobs to China and Europe. Lovely.
Hopefully they can get their acts together in 2010 and the Senate can pass a bill to remove these legislative hurdles to real green jobs growth.
But as I emphasize here time and again, we need major media players to step up more and tote the green jobs and other benefits of this legislation, rather than just convey it as "environmental" legislation that will cost fossil fuel industry jobs.
Most of the media's current angle on climate change legislation has been dreadfully similar to conveying tobacco-regulating legislation as harmful to tobacco industry jobs, rather than emphasizing the health benefits of such legislation!