Normally, I like words a lot more than I like numbers. For example, let’s talk about my quantitative score on the GRE. Actually, let’s not, and just say we did. But even I have to admit that sometimes, numbers count more than words. The fight to combat climate change is, sometimes, one of those times. On Friday, President Obama announced a set of numbers that may look a whole lot bigger in the history text books of 2030 (and go further to solve the climate crisis) than will many of the pretty words that global leaders have been slinging back and forth in recent months. Here we go:

$2.3 billion in Recovery Act Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credits…

will be awarded to 183 projects

(about 30% of which will be completed in 2010 – alacrity extraordinaire!)

…in 43 states

to create tens of thousands (maybe more than 17,000) of “high quality clean energy jobs” in solar, wind, and “efficiency and energy management technologies”…

…and shake up so much private capital investment that a grand total of almost $7.7 billion will be pouring into US high-tech manufacturing as a result. 

All of this, by the way, is part of Obama’s plan to double the renewable energy we produce here on home soil by 2013.

Obama acknowledged during his announcement of the credits that this isn’t just about climate change or about creating jobs – it’s also about making sure that China, Germany, and other leading producers of clean technologies like wind and solar don’t leave the US in the dust, at the bottom of what will be an increasingly booming clean tech market. “The Recovery Act awards I am announcing today will help close the clean energy gap that has grown between America and other nations while creating good jobs, reducing our carbon emissions and increasing our energy security,” the President said.

Biden echoed the sentiment: “By investing in innovative clean energy manufacturing projects like these, we are not only creating good jobs now, but helping lay a new foundation to keep America competitive in the 21st century economy.”

Tell us, Obama, does it feel good to help fund the future? 

Scroll to the bottom of the WH press release for a link to a complete list of clean tech projects selected, and more, many more, beautiful numbers.