June 1st, 2017 was certainly one for the record books with President Trump announcing that the US will no longer be a part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
To refresh, the Paris Agreement stated that we would pursue efforts to limit our carbon emissions in a global effort to limit temperature increases below 1.5C. This wasn’t just good news for Renvu or other players in the renewable energy Industry, but also for Earth in general.
Trump stated that by leaving the Paris Climate Agreement, we would be saving millions of jobs in the coal and oil sectors and billions of dollars that would have otherwise gone to the Paris Fund. Sounds decently good?
But the one question we are left asking is: how will this affect America’s commitment to clean energy and the renewable energy business as a whole? And since it’s honestly too soon to tell, we’re planning to keep our eyes on it.
Interestingly enough, this decision feeds into another one of our most recent renewable energy scandals: the Suniva-SolarWorld Trade Case on the impact of imported solar products on domestic solar manufacturers.
To say that this is a solar industry Doomsday scenario is a bit of an exaggeration, but not completely unwarranted. If the ITC agrees with Suniva and SolarWorld, it could mean a doubling of industry level pricing through a solar tariff.
However, it is not clear what President Trump would decide when it’s his turn to make the final decision on the case.
Although the Paris Agreement decision stands as evidence that he would side against the majority of the renewable energy industry and instill a high solar tariff on international solar products, there is also evidence of the opposite.
Trump just announced that he wants to install solar modules on his proposed border wall, claiming that this addition would allow for the project to pay for itself. And while that creates another solar powered system, it still does not justify the wall’s construction for non-supporters, nor is it immediately great PR for the solar industry (despite its stock price increases).
And that’s not all.
This week ExxonMobil and other large oil companies declared their support for a carbon emissions tax that would (like its name implies) tax carbon emissions and put some money back into consumer pockets. We would hope that this tax would incentivise more American companies to go green to avoid lowering their profit margins.
The oil giants did ask for more lax climate regulations...so once again, we’ll just see what happens there.
Ultimately, here at Renvu, we love our planet and want to do our part in accelerating the global transition to renewable energy. With these four developments and their consequences in pretty much limbo, we can only hope the chips fall on the side of the clean, green solar future