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United States

AWEA 2019: Green New Deal is 'too much, too soon'

The Green New Deal's goal of 100% renewable energy in the US by 2030 is not feasible, said Dan Shreve, head of global analysis at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, at a private breakfast on the opening day of Windpower 2019 in Houston.

Dan Shreve, head of global analysis at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, speaking on the opening day of AWEA's Windpower 2019 conference
Dan Shreve, head of global analysis at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables, speaking on the opening day of AWEA's Windpower 2019 conference

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The Green New deal is being proposed by progressive Congressional lawamakers and is already creating debate among Democrats seeking to unseat Republican President Donald Trump.

"It would be too much, too fast," said Shreve of the renewable energy installations, supply chain expansion and raw materials required to meet the goal.

Some 1.6TW of wind and solar would need to come online. The grid would also need to include up to 9TW of storage, and a doubling of high-voltage transmission to 400,000 miles (646,000km).

The investment would amount to $5 trillion, or $200-500 billion per year, he said.

Trump's escalating trade war with China jeopardises wind's gains in levelised cost of energy (LCoE) terms, Shreve said, although overall, wind energy costs are falling.

Imports of components from South Korea and Indonesia, of towers from Vietnam, and blades from Brazil and India, are already increasing.

Asked to quantify the impact on the wind industry, Shreve said that WoodMac has yet to arrive at a figure, but "it's bad".

In May Trump unexectedly raised tariffs on some $200 billion of Chinese good from 10% to 25%. Some wind components were included. China hit back with tariffs on $60 billion of US imports.

The first round of tariffs hit generators and assembled nacelles, said WoodMac senior wind analyst Anthony Logan. The second round did not target major components, but the administration's latest move hit many nacelle components, plus blades and gearboxes, said Logan.

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