Development of wind and solar power will continue to grow and thrive regardless of federal policies.
President-elect Donald Trump promised during the election campaign to revitalize the coal industry. He intimated that federal tax credits for renewable energy would be reduced.
Environmentalists are not the only group worried about a possible anti-clean energy policy from the next administration. Construction of wind and solar power facilities is a growing sector of the construction industry. This has leaders of our industry concerned.
Recent articles in The Washington Post and salon.com argue that these fears are unwarranted.
Chelsea Harvey’s article in the Post notes that “the inexorable march of wind and solar has largely been driven by both private-sector forces and the policies of individual states, more so than federal influence—and it’s unlikely to be easily halted.”
Ms. Harvey cites a report by the Georgetown Climate Center that outlines the steps 19 states are taking to promote expanding alternative energy sources and the reduction of carbon emissions.
According to “Vicki Arroyo, executive director of the Georgetown Climate Center, ‘these policies are often popular because they generate jobs locally, they provide a clean source of energy, and they create jobs that can’t be exported.’”
An article republished in salon.com by Emily Schwartz Greco writing for billmoyers.com discusses the impact alternative energy is having on the coal industry. Daniel Cohan of Rice University contends that “’market forces, not the government’ are responsible for the fact that wind and solar power are starting to take their own bite out of coal’s market share…”
Ms. Harvey argues that even if the Clean Power Act is eviscerated by the Trump administration wind and solar power development will continue to expand.
On the other hand, if federal tax credits for alternative energy are ended this would have a significant chilling effect upon the clean energy industry. But a Trump administration proposal to end the tax credits would encounter stiff bipartisan resistance in Congress, according to Ms. Harvey.
Let’s hope the analysts are correct about the future prospects for the renewable energy industry.
Take a deep breath and don’t freak out about the future of clean energy under Trump, Chelsea Harvey, The Washington Post, Nov. 16, 2016.
Donald Trump actually has very little control over green energy and climate change, Emily Schwartz Greco, billmoyers.com reprinted in salon.com, Nov. 20, 2016.