November 11, 2016 Read More →

On the Blogs: Trump Cannot ‘Stop the Train’ on Solar

Christa Marshall for E&E Newswire:

A Trump presidency will not “stop the train” on solar power, an industry official predicted yesterday.

The surprising victory of President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday left many environmentalists speculating that the new administration would automatically slash support for solar dramatically, as well as other renewables. Solar stocks plunged after the election on expectation that renewables generally might not fare well in the next four years, particularly with the industry’s expected loss of the boost from the Clean Power Plan and other climate policies.

Trump mentioned solar little in the campaign, although he was on record years ago criticizing the administration’s handling of Solyndra, a solar company that filed for bankruptcy in 2011 after receiving millions in loan guarantees from the Energy Department.

Timothy Fox, vice president at ClearView Energy Partners, said Trump has positioned himself as a deregulator who supports domestic production, and that could extend to clean electricity generation.

“On the other hand, federal agencies under his leadership may wish to focus their time and resources on opening federal lands to conventional energy sources. We think who Trump chooses to fill the leadership roles at federal agencies could be the next indicator of the energy policies we should expect during his administration,” said Fox.

Today, the Interior Department finalized a rule that would set up a competitive leasing process for renewable projects on federal lands (see related story).In a research note this week, ClearView Energy Partners noted that Trump’s Rust Belt backers might succeed in protecting the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy, too.

There’s no indication at this point that Trump would push to repeal the tax credits, which would require an act of Congress.

Full item: Trump won’t ‘stop the train’ on solar — industry

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