The European energy market has been driven for years by restrictions on CO2 and taxpayer support for renewable energy. As a result, Europe boasts many of the biggest, strongest wind companies in the world.

In the U.S., we largely leave the energy market up to the vagaries of rising and falling oil prices. As a result, our wind power industry is fragmented and underfunded — and now that oil prices are back down, on the ropes.

As a result, the big European companies are getting set to buy up lots of smaller American companies to further cement their dominance.

Then, when oil prices inevitably rise again — and when the U.S. passes its inevitable restrictions on GHGs — European companies will be well-positioned to harvest the bounty.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

This is what corporatist conservative governance in the U.S. has gotten us — a competitive disadvantage in one of the fastest growing markets of the 21st century. Huzzah.

BusinessWeek has the whole sordid tale.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.