Friday November 18, 2016 1 comments
DENVER – Chris Shapard, executive director of Colorado Clean Industries Association (CCIA), is looking ahead to the the future of clean tech and clean energy under a Donald Trump presidency.
She shares the following as a guest editorial:
“After a week of reflection following the November 8 national election, I want to share some of my anxious, but hopeful, thoughts about the future of clean tech and clean energy.
With the election of President-Elect Trump, the clean energy industry appears to be in the cross hairs of an administration that during the campaign has stated its support for the coal industry, its denial of climate change, its opposition to the EPA's Clean Power Plan and its willingness to extract the United States from global environmental agreements.
On its face, these views are short-sighted, and extremely concerning to CCIA and the state's clean technology industries and companies.
However, keep in mind a few things.
One, many of the regulations affecting the ability of the clean energy sectors to grow are actually regulated at the state level, not national. That's not new - for the past 8 years, most of the initiatives supporting the industry have been implemented at state capitals and in public utilities commissions.
Two, other countries have always had more progressive policies than the United States (which has never had a national energy policy) and their clean energy markets are growing. Both provide more market certainty for new technology developers, as well as those companies deploying renewables, efficiency products and alternative fueled vehicles.
These two market drivers -- state policy and international markets -- are not impacted by the most recent U.S. election.
Next, consumer preference and corporate values are real drivers of clean energy deployment in 2016....also not impacted by the new administration. Companies like UPS, Alaska Air, Apple, Google and many others are expanding their purchasing power and investing in clean energy innovations. This won't change.
True, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) won't be implemented, which was seen as a boon to expansion of clean technologies. And, both wind and solar incentives could be on the chopping block when tax writing is done by the Republican majority. Remember, however, that things happen slowly in DC and it will likely be years until the CPP works its way through the courts. And, eliminating incentives for renewables isn't a fait accompli. A smaller, but powerful, block of the Republican majority are from states that derive a significant percentage of their electricity and jobs from wind and solar power. They will not vote to put these economic drivers out of business.
It is this combination of state regulatory support, international market growth, bi-partisan voter support, low solar and wind prices and corporate investment that give me hope for the future. Clean energy has always been a political football -- remember Carter's solar panels on the White House? What's different now is that it can (almost) stand on its own, without federal government support.
Rest assured, regardless of who is in power, CCIA and its partners will continue to build the business case that clean energy and clean technology industries are job creators, positively impact corporate bottom line expectations, and are supported by independent, Democrat and Republican voters."