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Can Obama transform the US into the world’s clean tech nirvana?


US President Barack Obama is hoping to pull his nation out of its economic funk by turning it into a “green machine”. But he faces an uphill battle transforming the land of opportunity and hyper-consumption in the face of entrenched interests, scepticism and inertia.

However, there is cause for hope. As this report from The SMH’s Washington correspondent Anne Davies reveals, Californian venture capital firms are hot for clean tech.

Now Barack Obama, facing the steepest downturn since FDR’s time, wants to transform America into a green machine, a nation that leads the world in technology and manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, electric cars, technologies to make the electricity grid more efficient and long-life batteries.

Can the US, the land of the internal combustion engine and the McMansion, where bigger is always better, really become a green economy?

Can it catch up to Germany, Denmark, Spain and even China, which have been fostering green technology for years?

And can the US achieve Obama’s dream without passing a scheme that puts a price on carbon?

Read: In the wind: America’s drive towards clean technology