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Questionable future for wind power in Trump's vision

UNITED STATES: The American wind power industry is bracing itself for an uncertain future following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency.

Renewable energy plays no part in the plans of the next US president (pic: Michael Vadon)
Renewable energy plays no part in the plans of the next US president (pic: Michael Vadon)

The climate-change denier and long-standing opponent of wind power will take the reins of power on 20 January.

The Republican party has also secured majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives

Trump’s energy policy proposals are entirely focused on fossil-fuel production. He plans to "unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves".

Other policy announcements made during the campaign include scrapping Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP), closing down the Environmental Protection Agency, and repealing all federal spending on wind and solar power.

Trump has also pledged to "cancel the Paris climate agreement". While that falls beyond his remit, he will be able to undermine the treaty by simply abandoning the US’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Vestas, which announced a 52% year-on-year increase on gross profits in its Q3 financial report on 8 November, has seen its share price plummet following the election result.

According to Bloomberg they fell by 14% in the immediate aftermath. In mid-October they were trading at over DKK540 (US$81). They are now changing hands at under DKK420 ($63).

Gamesa shares fell by 4%, while even Dong Energy, which does little business in the US, saw 2.5% fall from its share value.

How far Trump will be able to progress his anti-wind stance is unclear, though. "The tax credits for wind, unlike the CPP, is stautory. A statute can only be changed by Congress passing a new law," said David Burton of tax transaction and consulting practice Mayer Brown, and leader of its renewable energy group.

"Wind is fortunate to have a number of powerful Republican allies in Congress. It seems unlikely that Mr Trump would opt to attack the tax credits for wind in light of wind's Republican allies and the long list of issues that are higher on his political agenda," said Burton.

Fracking pioneer Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, has been touted as Trump's pick for energy secretary. He would be the first oil executive to hold the post.

 

 

 

 

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