The President-elect has previously said that climate change is a Chinese conspiracy aimed at destroying US manufacturing –among other things. But exactly how his views will impact the future of clean energy in the US and here in Australia is difficult to predict.
We do know that Donald Trump is a coal guy. That has made for some nervous folks in the clean energy game in the United States and around the world this morning. And it’s true our industry is likely to lose a bit of skin along the way.
The final composition of US Congress and the legal ramifications of potential executive orders to unwind the country’s Clean Power Plan, or its commitment to the Paris climate agreement, will be mulled over in days ahead. There are however a couple of forces that are greater than the might of a US President as bold as Trump: physics and economics.
Firstly on economics. Trump may not be a fan of clean energy, but sooner or later he must realise that the cost of technology like wind and solar is rapidly outcompeting all other forms of new generation, including coal, gas and nuclear. As existing power plants get older and need to be replaced, these economic fundamentals are driving new clean energy at unprecedented rates. Investment in clean energy globally is now greater than that for fossil fuel based generation, and that trend should only continue.
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