Mr. Trump's view on solar and other renewable energy sources are not clearly defined and he has stated his intention to reverse President Obama's Clean Power Plan. He does not believe that climate change is a serious concern while pledging support for traditional fossil fuels.
The solar industry employs hundreds of thousands of workers, spurs private investment is a force for driving down consumer costs, as well as improving reliability to the electric grid. Even more, commercial businesses are increasingly going solar. Nathaniel Kohane with the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Defense Fund said there is a much more important trend taking place in the private sector: Businesses are adopting renewable energy based on purely economic and other marketplace factors. More and more major corporations have decided to build wind and solar installations as a way to offset their electricity costs.
One thing we know right away is that stocks for solar companies met with heavy losses in initial trading on markets the day after the presidential election. In contrast, shares of oil and gas companies showed huge stock gains. Trump has been vocal about his support for traditional energy sources, especially coal and natural gas.
One reason for this market rally for fossil fuels can be summed up by a key quote from Mickey Levy, chief economist for the Americas and Asia at Berenberg. “Trump would allocate more resources to traditional energy sectors (oil, gas and coal) than would Clinton, but allocate less to alternative energy industries.” Less regulation could lower the cost for fossil fuel companies to extract resources and deliver them to the end consumer.
One reason to worry about a possible political response came from Trump himself as on,” Oct. 31, Trump issued a policy statement in which he pledged to “cancel all wasteful climate change spending.” He did not specify what that would entail.”
What about the 30% Federal Tax Credit?
The important thing to note is that the tax credit was extended through the end of 2021 and went into effect as law through the passage of the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 and was subsequently extended in December of 2015. It would take an act of congress to alter the bill or see a termination. At this point we can say it would take a tremendous effort by Congress to overturn this bill.
Not everyone in the Republican party would support efforts to suppress the renewable energy industry. Among the biggest proponents of wind and solar is Republican Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley. Grassley writes:
The facts show that bringing stability and certainty to clean energy policy is good for the economy and the environment. Championing renewable energy that’s engineered by human ingenuity and produced by human hands builds upon America’s centuries-long promise of prosperity. Renewable energy can help raise standards of living and leave Mother Earth better than we found it for posterity. My message for Washington: Let’s not mess around with these expiring tax breaks that do so much good for America.
It is the opinion of YellowLite that the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit will not be changed or altered by Congress and that Mr. Trump will behave favorably toward solar over the course of his presidency. The majority of renewable energy systems have been installed in states that supported Mr. Trump in the presidential election. It is our belief there would not be enough support to overturn the tax credit by the Republican Party. Solar is a burgeoning industry with an estimated 200,000 American workers. In contrast, the oil, natural gas, and coal industries employ 150,000 workers combined. Solar is becoming big business. The jobs in American solar are typically blue collar, good-paying, and cannot be exported overseas. To support the solar industry is in the best interest of a smart politician.
A Republican President with a Republican controlled Congress will not effect the solar industry. The ability to harvest clean energy is becoming a popular and widely-accepted way to generate electricity from all spectrums of the political realm. Rising costs in drilling oil and mining for coal and not regulations are what is pushing the costs of fossil fuels up while costs in renewable energy are trending down.
America needs a modernized grid infrastructure as well as competitive energy markets. Solar energy prices are decreasing every year. Solar is a booming industry that is helping to create American jobs and grow our economy. It is in the best interest for America if solar is supported at the Federal level. We expect Mr. Trump to support our burgeoning industry with access to competitive markets and a continued support of tax credits that will ensure our nation's energy independence.