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Reaction: Industry reels from Trump victory

UNITED STATES: The renewable energy industry was shaken by the US presidential election result as property tycoon and climate change denier Donald Trump swept to victory.

Donald Trump  (pic: Michael Vadon)
Donald Trump (pic: Michael Vadon)

Below you can read some reaction from the industry:

Tom Kiernan, chief executive, American Wind Energy Association:

The American Wind Energy Association is ready to work with President-elect Donald Trump and his administration to assure that wind power continues to be a vibrant part of the U.S. economy.

An unstoppable shift to a cleaner energy economy is underway, and the fundamentals of wind energy in America are strong. With bipartisan support for long-term policy firmly in place, and a near-record number of wind farms are under construction, our industry is saving consumers money by connecting low-cost wind power to more parts of the country.

Mr. Trump has said, "We can pursue all forms of energy. This includes renewable energies and the technologies of the future." We look forward to working with him and his appointees to make sure they recognise that wind is working very well in America today as a mainstream energy source.

In his victory speech... the President-elect said, "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it." Wind power is some of the best infrastructure America has ever built and we are on track to doubling it from today's levels by 2020.

Utilities and major corporations are flocking to buy more wind, finding it to be the biggest, fastest, cheapest way to keep the air clean while keeping electric rates low.

We will continue to work with the states to lower electricity costs and share the benefits of rural economic development while meeting their renewable standards.

According to exit polls, the top issues on Americans' minds as they went to vote were the economy, security, and health. Wind can help with all three. Our determination to fulfill on the U.S. wind industry's enormous potential has never been stronger.

 

Dan Shreve, partner, Make Consulting:

The impact to the United States renewables sector is undeniably negative, but not necessarily in the near term.

Conversely, the surprise win by Trump will likely prompt an even more substantial order surge in the United States to capitalize on existing Production Tax Credit incentives.

The result will be a more pronounced peak in demand through 2020 for the United States wind energy market.

The long term health of the renewables sector is a different story altogether. President-elect Trump has gone on record numerous times to decry the science behind climate change and is not expected to support any renewables initiatives.

The primary concern for the US renewables sector is the fate of longer term support mechanisms such as the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement.

Trump has stated that he would "cancel" the Paris agreement, which would seriously undermine the United States global positioning with respect to climate change.

The danger would be the scrapping of the agreement given the level of global emissions represented by the United States, and the domino effect it may have on other leading emitters such as China, who may also choose to abandon the treaty.

 

Joint letter from president of European Council, Donald Tusk, and president of the the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker:

The EU-US strategic partnership is broad and deep: from our joint efforts to enhance enery security and address climate change... to the negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership - we should spare no effort to ensure that the ties that bind us remain strong and durable.

 

Benjamin Schreiber, Climate and Energy Director, Friends of the Earth US:

Yesterday's election [result] left all of us in the United States climate movement stunned. Millions of Americans voted for a coal-loving climate-denier willing to condemn people around the globe to poverty, famine and death from climate change. It seems undeniable that the United States will become a rogue state on climate change.

Technicalities aside about whether President-elect Trump can remove the US from the Paris agreement, it's clear that for the next four years, the US government is unlikely to be a partner in global climate action.

The US will likely make international climate protection efforts more difficult and that is why the rest of the world can no longer wait for US action.

 

David Burton, head of renewable energy group, Mayer Brown:

The tax credits for wind, unlike the Clean Power Plan, is stautory. A statute can only be changed by Congress passing a new law.

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.

 

Peter Liese, MEP, member of the European Parliament's Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee: 

For 16 years, [the EU] worked against strong resistance from the US, this has only changed in the second term of Obama. Now we have to work against opposition from the United States for four more years.

Our advantage is the changing worldwide atmosphere and that many states are now active on climate policies. Even Donald Trump won't be able to destroy that.

 

Martin Nesbit, head of environment and climate governance, Institute for European Environmental Policy:

"As president, Trump will have to come to terms with the strong international consensus on climate action; and he will need to pick and choose the areas where he confronts international partners which may give him pause in seeking to damage the Paris Agreement.

"But the extent of US action in the short term to deliver on their commitments is obviously going to suffer."


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