Golden, Colorado, is widely known for a certain beer company, but the Denver suburb is also home of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL - pictured left).  Technologies including solar and smart grid are abuzz at NREL, and according to Vice President Joe Biden, NREL’s work is critical if clean energy technologies like that of solar are ever going to compete price wise with fossil fuels.

We are a long way away from solar becoming as cheap as petroleum--despite Biden’s optimism--but laboratories like NREL are critical for research and development if the United States will ever move towards greater energy independence.  Meanwhile NREL’s research and development work help the greater Denver area hold its own as a clean energy hub.

One such company is Abound Solar, a manufacturer of thin-film photovoltaic modules.  According to Bob Grier, vice president of operations at the company, “The federal government has shown a deep commitment through investments such as Abound to encouraging the innovation that is necessary for the long-term energy independence of the United States, and (Friday) Vice President Biden reaffirmed these commitments.”

While some complain that the federal government should not choose “winners or losers” in the energy space, energy companies receive about US$6 billion in credits for taxes paid to foreign governments alone.  Democrats also went after the US$12 billion marked for subsidies that offset for domestic oil production--but that died in the Senate last week, thanks in part to a few . . . key Senate Democrats.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of Based in California, he specializes in social media consulting and strategic communications. A journalist and writer since 2009, his work has appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Areas of interest include the <a Middle East, sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at You can also reach out via Twitter (Leon Kaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). Since 2013, he has spent much of his time in Abu Dhabi, UAE, working with Masdar, the emirate's renewable energy company. He lives in Fresno, California.