It appears wind power and solar power are here to stay, even as President Donald Trump’s administration works to shut down President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Bloomberg found since Trump signed an executive order back in March calling for a repeal, nearly $30 billion has been spent on wind and solar projects.
The Trump administration’s moves to undo Obama’s climate rules apparently hasn’t slowed the renewable energy industry much so far. According to Bloomberg, clean energy spending in America reached its highest level in two years at $14.8 billion in the third quarter. Quarter two investments were nearly $14 billion, and quarter one spending almost hit $10 billion, according to information from Bloomberg New Energy Finance. So clean energy investments have increased every quarter during the first year of the Trump presidency.
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Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Amy Grace told Bloomberg, “The Clean Power Plan doesn’t make a jot of difference. Utilities are installing wind and solar because it is cheaper than running existing plants, and corporations are procuring wind and solar because it’s economic to do so.”
Grace did point out firms are investing in clean energy while tax breaks are still in place. The tax credits mean it’s less expensive to construct solar and wind farms than to operate existing natural gas or coal plants. But some of these breaks – which bipartisanship legislation extended in 2015 – will roll off this year.
Yesterday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Scott Pruitt put out a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, with the goal of repealing the Clean Power Plan. The agency’s statement on Pruitt’s move said, “Repealing the CPP will also facilitate the development of U.S. energy resources and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens associated with the development of those resources, in keeping with the principles established in President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence.”
Images via Efe Kurnaz on Unsplash and Andreas Gücklhorn on Unsplash