Trump's victory creates uncertainty for wind and solar power

January 22, 2017 by Cathy Bussewitz And Geoff Mulvihill
In this May 12, 2013, file photo, wind turbines lining the Altamont Pass near Livermore, Calif., generate electricity. California, Hawaii, Oregon, New York and many other Democratic-leaning states have ambitious goals to wean themselves off fossil fuels, but they rely heavily on federal grants, tax credits and research to support their efforts, programs that could evaporate or be cut significantly under the new Trump administration. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

President Donald Trump has disputed climate change, pledged a revival of coal and disparaged wind power, and his nominee to head the Energy Department was once highly skeptical of the agency's value. What this means for states' efforts to promote renewable energy is an open question.

States that are pushing for greater reliance on wind and solar are not quite sure what to expect as Trump takes over. Many of them depend heavily on federal renewable-energy tax credits, grants and research, much of which comes from the Energy Department.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Trump's pick to lead the department, presents a contradictory figure: A Texas oil promoter, he also oversaw a huge expansion of wind-energy production while governor. When he ran for president in 2011, he included Energy on a list of departments he thought should be abolished, though he disavowed the idea Thursday at his Senate confirmation hearing.

"We don't know what version of Perry is going to show up," said Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, Austin.

Renewable energy accounts for about 15 percent of the electricity generated in the United States. And 29 states have set targets for boosting their reliance on such power.

Officials, experts and advocates in more than a half-dozen states with some of the most ambitious goals told The Associated Press that they are on course to meet their targets. Most said that while Trump policies could slow the expansion, they won't stop it.

In this July 8, 2016, file photo, Radford Takashima works on a solar panel installation on a roof in Honolulu. California, Hawaii, Oregon, New York and many other Democratic-leaning states have ambitious goals to wean themselves off fossil fuels, but they rely heavily on federal grants, tax credits and research to support their efforts, programs that could evaporate or be cut significantly in the new administration. (AP Photo/Cathy Bussewitz, File)

The price of harnessing the power of the sun and wind has dropped so much that in many areas of the country, experts say it could be competitive with traditional power sources such as coal and natural gas even without federal subsidies. Further, they do not expect a fast repeal of the key federal tax credits that have propelled the industry for years.

Still, policies aimed at bringing more renewable power online quickly are not expected while Trump is in office.

"We need to be moving faster, not slower," said Jeff Forward, president of the trade group Renewable Energy Vermont. "I fear we're tapping on the brakes right now."

Those who promote renewable energy are concerned because Trump has expressed doubts about whether is real, even though scientists agree that it is happening and that the burning of fossil fuels is a major reason for it.

Trump also has called for reviving the coal industry, which has struggled in part because of the rise of renewable energy. And he has criticized wind turbines near Palm Springs, California, both for killing birds and for looking like a "junkyard."

In this March 23, 2010, file photo, workers from California Green Design install solar electrical panels on the roof of a home in Glendale, Calif. California, Hawaii, Oregon, New York and many other Democratic-leaning states have ambitious goals to wean themselves off fossil fuels, but doing so requires an investment in renewable energy that could be in jeopardy now that Donald Trump has assumed the presidency. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

Perry, at his confirmation hearings, said he believes climate change is happening and that some of it is caused by human activity. He also said he favors an "all of the above" energy policy, the way he did in Texas, and wants the federal government to continue research on renewable energy. He didn't say what he thought of green-energy tax credits and other incentives.

The federal wind credit is set to be phased out in 2019, and the solar one, four years after that. Those incentives and other federal spending on in fiscal year 2015 totaled about $10 billion, nearly twice as much as similar subsidies for fossil fuels.

In Hawaii, federal tax credits reduced the price for developers and homeowners by about $125 million annually from 2011 to 2014, according to an analysis by Blue Planet Foundation. During that time, the portion of the state's electricity coming from renewables nearly doubled from 12 to 21 percent.

Randy Iwase, chairman of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, said incentives are important to the state's goal of having 100 percent of its power generated from renewable sources by 2045, the nation's most aggressive target.

"We are in a toddler stage," he said. "When you lose focus, when attention is distracted, when you make it less of a priority, the toddler kind of wobbles."

In this Oct. 29, 2008, file photo, wind turbines dot the landscape east of Wasco, Ore. California, Hawaii, Oregon, New York and many other Democratic-leaning states have ambitious goals to wean themselves off fossil fuels, but doing so requires an investment in renewable energy that could be in jeopardy now that Donald Trump has assumed the presidency. (Jamie Francis/The Oregonian via AP, File)

The Energy Department said in a report last year that the cost of getting power from wind fell more than 40 percent from 2008 to 2015, and solar panel prices dropped more than 60 percent in that period.

Market forces have made green power big in Republican-led states, with wind turbines springing up along the Great Plains from Iowa to Texas. In those places—many of which have low or no green-energy requirements—the arguments for renewable power are more often cost savings and job creation, rather than the environmental benefits.

In December, Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio vetoed a bill that would have delayed the requirements there. This month, Phil Scott, the new GOP governor in Vermont, affirmed his commitment to Vermont's goal of 90 percent green power by 2050.

Meanwhile, some Democratic-leaning states have been pushing their requirements upward. Since 2015, both New York and California have increased their targets to 50 percent by 2030, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has indicated he would like to go further than that.

Hawaii Gov. David Ige, a Democrat, said he is committed to meeting the state's target regardless of what policy changes come from Washington.

"I know that there can be some changes in federal policy—tax credits and those kinds of things," Ige said. "But it's very clear to me that Hawaii's commitment is much broader and deeper than federal policy or tax credits or incentives."

In this Jan. 9, 2017, file photo, Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott stands in front of a new solar power project he helped inaugurate in Montpelier, Vt. Scott, who took office at the start of the year, said he remains committed to the goal set by his predecessor of getting 90 percent of the state's power from renewable sources by 2050. (AP Photo/Wilson Ring, File)

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rderkis
1.9 / 5 (9) Jan 22, 2017
If you listen to you journalists, you cause uncertainty for the whole country with your rumors. It would be better if you just came out and told us "You want the overthrow of the United States Government."
Perhaps you journalists would just settle for the assassination of our president,?
In the 60s when I was a kid there were protests against concrete ideas. Example " The Vietnamese war".
Now you have used the power of the press to create protests about things that might happen based on the rumors you spread. You and the other Journalists should be ashamed of yourselves for using such great power in such a careless way.
Lord_jag
5 / 5 (1) Jan 22, 2017
Trump is a businessman. Solar and wind are cheaper for NEW installed capacity than any other source. Cheaper raw materials is always better. With reduction in solar and wind costs, any reduction in output can be compensated for by an increase in production capacity.
rderkis
2 / 5 (4) Jan 22, 2017
Trump is a businessman.

Sound vary good but you cannot compete with a journalist who's profession it is to explain these kind of things. Most people will believe the journalist first over you or I, no mater how knowledgeable we might be. That is why this abuse of their power is so EVIL.
Journalists for 200 years have been our guiding stars. It's only recently the have gotten so they think they are better and more intelligent than the rest of us. And have decided to manipulate us with rumors, innuendos, and half-truths.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (6) Jan 22, 2017
Solar and wind are cheaper
Who cares if solar and wind are cheaper if batteries/energy storage is prohibitively expensive and is ever far from reality? It matters to natural gas/fracking industry that keeps lights on when sun is not shinning or wind is not blowing.
https://pbs.twimg...o16-.jpg
"In an ironic twist, fracking has been cited as a prime reason for shutting down New York's Indian Point nuclear power plant, as cheap natural gas eroded the economics of generating nuclear power in the region."
http://www.forbes...r-plant/
rderkis
2.6 / 5 (5) Jan 23, 2017
I don't think it matters much. We will soon have Fusion power. As far as batteries, they seem to be one of the most researched areas with advances coming weekly.

Plus within 5 years we will know about 32 times more than we know now about all most all technology. Within 10 years, a whopping ~1,032 times what we know now. And 15 years it is staggering.

You might not believe that but look it up for yourself, on anyone of ~100s of web sites. Those figures are all based on factual past data.

Here is one reputable link.

http://theemergin...ment.htm

And remember just like a graph for the stock market, you need to look at the over all trend, not a day by day comparison.

Oh sure you will find a few naysayers but you can find plenty of people that seriously swear the world is flat. And the round Earth is a hoax.
BrettC
5 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2017
The presidency only lasts 4 to 8 years. Building power infrastructure is an ongoing and ceaseless endeavor. If the government doesn't poor money into it, someone will. You may be able to argue against global warming, but there is no question we are having a detrimental impact on our environment. Anyone potential green energy investor that has children should be able to see the logic in protecting our planets future.
arcmetal
not rated yet Jan 29, 2017
The presidency only lasts 4 to 8 years. Building power infrastructure is an ongoing and ceaseless endeavor. If the government doesn't poor money into it, someone will. You may be able to argue against global warming, but there is no question we are having a detrimental impact on our environment. Anyone potential green energy investor that has children should be able to see the logic in protecting our planets future.


Correct. At least a retardation in progress these fine four years will allow the rest of the world to modernize and catch up.
Da Schneib
5 / 5 (4) Jan 29, 2017
Gee, he said he was gonna *save* jobs, not *destroy* them.

There's a US$13 trillion economic opportunity out there crying out for workers.

I thought this guy was supposed to be a businessman. Looks like a loser from over here, who always has an excuse for another bankruptcy.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2017
Trump is a businessman.

Yeah, but if you look at what he's actually done as a businessman you come to the conclusion that he's not a particularly good one.

Anyone potential green energy investor that has children should be able to see the logic in protecting our planets future

That's not how investment on that scale works. Investment of large sums of money is controlled by oversight boards which are beholden to stock holders (i.e. mostly really cash-crazy banks and investment firms). They will definitely NOT agree to invest in something that doesn't bring in optimal returns on investment (and even if the board overrules them they will just sue the company into oblivion for negligence). If the government makes it harder to invest in infrastructure/renewables then they will seek other places with a higher ROI.


within 5 years we will know about 32 times more than we know now about all most all technology.

No. Science doesn't scale that way forever.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 29, 2017
A great deal of the renewables expansion in the US is because it's a wealth redistribution scheme. The states are building renewable energy because it brings federal money into the state. Individual businesses and investors fund renewable energy for the tax breaks first and foremost.

Individually, without the federal subsidies, the states have no incentive to subsidize either. While the energy itself may be reasonably cheap, the intermittency causes extra costs on the energy market and that avoidable cost is what will collapse the renewables market if the federal subsidies go away.

The states simply calculate they'll lose more than they gain and drop new subsidy programs, which in turn make it impossible for private businesses to operate renewable energy since they can't sell it on the free market at a reasonable price - or maybe they can, that remains to be seen.

If it's actually cheap enough to be sold sans subsidy, that simply reveals what a racket the subsidies were.
Eikka
3 / 5 (6) Jan 29, 2017
So, Trump or no Trump, the subsidies need to go away anyways. Maintaining the sort of crutch on the energy market is damaging in the long term and is actually slowing down the advancement of renewable energy: why spend anything on R&D when the government is guaranteeing fixed prices and no competition? Just import the stuff from China or Denmark and pocket the difference.

Now is a good time as any. You can't keep the training wheels on forever.
julianpenrod
1 / 5 (5) Jan 29, 2017
A dangerous perception, that, in any confrontation, one side must be in the right. Government ordered chemtrails cause climate change, not "fossil fuels". The Republicans deny climate change to avoid admitting they permitted chemtrails and because they're invested in "fossil fuels". Democrats' attitude comes form the fact that they won't admit they permitted chemtrails and they're heavily invested in "alternative energy" systems which are wrecking the environment, but "science" and the "news" won't admit it. They depict "alternative energy" as the only solution to climate change. Another dangerous initiative, to insist that there must be a conventional solution to a problem and then choosing anything, feeling that, if you don't have a conventional solution, you don't have a solution.
leetennant
5 / 5 (7) Jan 29, 2017
A dangerous perception, that, in any confrontation, one side must be in the right. Government ordered chemtrails cause climate change, not "fossil fuels". The Republicans deny climate change to avoid admitting they permitted chemtrails and because they're invested in "fossil fuels". Democrats' attitude comes form the fact that they won't admit they permitted chemtrails and they're heavily invested in "alternative energy" systems which are wrecking the environment, but "science" and the "news" won't admit it. They depict "alternative energy" as the only solution to climate change. Another dangerous initiative, to insist that there must be a conventional solution to a problem and then choosing anything, feeling that, if you don't have a conventional solution, you don't have a solution.


I don't even know where to start. I'd try to parse it out but it's just too confused.
antigoracle
2.8 / 5 (9) Jan 29, 2017
More FAKE news from the AGW Cult. The fact is solar and wind are what has created the uncertainty. Across the globe, governments, finally coming to their senses have been ending the unsustainable subsidies and tax breaks that propagated the false promises of solar and wind. And, now it's the public who are left paying for the deceit with exorbitant energy bills for decades to come.
Eikka
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 29, 2017
No. Science doesn't scale that way forever.


Science doesn't scale that way at all. Never has, never will.

It's a fiction that you can measure any scientific or technological "advancement" with numbers. Different inventions aren't commeasurable, nor do you actually have any metric or scale of merit for such judgements anyhow. Which one is more advanced, a bicycle or a Tilley lamp?

At best you can point out circumstantial relationships and chronological orders: most of the time you can't even say one invention was necessary for another to arise, to put them in a causal hierarchy.

There's never been any validity in saying that technology advances at an accelerating rate. Only the particular measures we use in each case, such as the number of transistors on a chip, do, and that's mostly because we pay attention to such numbers and ignore measures that don't go exponential. Any actual value derived then may or may not be in proportion to the numbers.

arcmetal
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 29, 2017
... and they're heavily invested in "alternative energy" systems which are wrecking the environment, but "science" and the "news" won't admit it. They depict "alternative energy" as the only solution to climate change. ...


The other parts seemed a mangled mess, but this part is utter nonsense. That is, the term "alternative energy" is reserved for technologies that are not fossil fuels. Generally they are renewables, which by definition constantly cycle their exhaust back into their intakes (the source of its energies being mostly from the sun), thus not affecting the environment.
Osiris1
not rated yet Jan 30, 2017
What did Shakespeare say about uncertainty: ...full of storm and fury, signifying nothing! Solar will build itself! It is the practical future in the face of hydrocarbon blackmail by radical moslem terrorists under cover of state actors. No one will want to live under threat of forced mass conversion to some cruel alien ideology complete with seventh century barbarism. What is now mass energy source conversion and global warming avoidance will accelerate and no one will stop it. We suffered and lived past others, and we will survive trumpf as well.

For less than the price of a cheap car, one can build enough solar power near his own house to take him and his family off the treadmill of payments to electric companies forever....and do it today!
Dark_Solar
3 / 5 (2) Jan 30, 2017
Pfeh...PEV power has been struggling for quite a few years; solar cell production costs continue to fall and the profit margin for companies that produce them get smaller and smaller. That old general rule of all business that "if there's no profit in a thing, there's no motivation to make it" hasn't changed and likely never will.

Wind, on the other hand, continues to be immensely profitable for production companies simply because most wind power is generated on a municiple scale by large farms of enormous, multi-ton, corporation-owned turbines which are generally outside the feasible reach of the private consumer. Granted, there are a lot small-scale wind turbines available on the open market but, given that the average individual can go to any junkyard and scavenge parts to build their own for almost no cost, it's a hard small-scale market in terms of survivability.

Trump is irrelevant; it's all about where the profits can be had.
Dark_Solar
not rated yet Jan 30, 2017
@ Osiris1

Spoken like a person that gets out there and builds their own. Good on ya!!
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2017

Our PV system powers our house and e-Golf.

We use the grid as the storage. We produce in the daytime running the meter backwards, and take it out at night.

We saved about $3,000 this first year on a $12,400 PV investment, much of it from displacing about 700 gallons of expensive California gasoline.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2017

Our PV system powers our house and e-Golf.

We use the grid as the storage. We produce in the daytime running the meter backwards, and take it out at night.

We saved about $3,000 this first year on a $12,400 PV investment, much of it from displacing about 700 gallons of expensive California gasoline.
How many lies can we find in this post? George is getting efficient.

Its a quiz. George wants antigoricle to figure from this how many miles he has driven and hence how much PV juice hes used.

This is what common trolls do for attention.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Jan 30, 2017
Outgrow your fixation, "otto". You already outed yourself as someone here to play what you called your "games".

Go back to Twitter.

Thanks,

The Decent Folk.
arcmetal
3 / 5 (2) Jan 31, 2017

Our PV system powers our house and e-Golf.

We use the grid as the storage. We produce in the daytime running the meter backwards, and take it out at night.

We saved about $3,000 this first year on a $12,400 PV investment, much of it from displacing about 700 gallons of expensive California gasoline.

Comments like this and others like it are rather pleasant to read. Technological progress is unstoppable, it is a good thing.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Jan 31, 2017
Comments like this and others like it are rather pleasant to read. Technological progress is unstoppable, it is a good thing
-Except we know for a fact that this poster made this all up. He doesnt own any PV or EV. This poster is here to lie and fuck with people.

Or do you enjoy reading malicious fiction then? Then youll like his post from a few days ago where he implied he has a PhD.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Jan 31, 2017
arcmetal, if you want pictures and description, send me a temporary gmail address.

What many do not understand is the future is here, now! It Works!!

If we can survive our present set of "leaders" getting into office (or orifice), the future is bright.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Jan 31, 2017
arcmetal, if you want pictures and description, send me a temporary gmail address.

What many do not understand is the future is here, now! It Works!!

If we can survive our present set of "leaders" getting into office (or orifice), the future is bright.
You sent out pics of your neighbors roof and claimed it was yours, The DMV has no record of your electric car.

George kamburoff only wants the opportunity to scam some noob. It gives him a thrill. Because hes a psychopath.

Re the article, corrupt politicians have too much invested in current green alternative ideology. If and when truly unique and revolutionary new power sources become available, only trump will have the will to support it.

And so yes, solar and wind do indeed have a lot to be concerned about.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Jan 31, 2017
Outgrow it, otto. We just paid our license renewal to the DMV, so I assume they know we have it. I suggest you not depend on the alternative facts you get from Ira, with the poor ego.
arcmetal
5 / 5 (1) Feb 01, 2017
@gkam

nefer.7s8cj@mailnull.com

TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Feb 01, 2017
Outgrow it, otto
Outgrow my hatred of liars and cheats? I dont think thats possible.
We just paid our license renewal to the DMV, so I assume they know we have it. I suggest you not depend on the alternative facts you get from Ira, with the poor ego
Iras honest. Youre a liar. Who am I to believe?
arcmetal, if you want pictures and description, send me a temporary gmail address
George has a goofy little webpage and could have posted this stuff there a long time ago. But as I say, hes here to exercise his lying and cheating skills. Its what psychopaths do.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2017
Outgrow your little fixation, "otto".

You admitted you are a sniper hiding behind two cut-outs using a phony name to play your "games". That is the lowest form of artificial life.

I guess you use what you have, . . .
arcmetal
3 / 5 (2) Feb 01, 2017
@gkam
Thanks for the pics gkam, it looks like a sweet setup. I had long ago imagined having solar panels to collect enough power to charge up an electric car and power the house, and thus I'd never have to visit a gas station or pay another power bill. I am glad to see this happening now. Then again, this has been happening throughout Europe for quite some time. I've also read that its starting to happen in Africa as well.

The dystopian future were we are all still paying for power in the future is slowly coming to an end. Like an opec exec once said: "the stone age did not end for want of stones".
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 01, 2017
Great analogy.

We're not the only ones who dreamed of this, and I was surprised it was here already.

Africa and Asia are both ripe for these technologies, as is Australia. Many decades ago, I learned the Chinese would be angry when it was their turn to get phones and found there was insufficient copper on Earth left do to it. Of course, the world bypassed the Age of Copper in telephony with cells.

Perhaps solar, wind, and other local resources will let these above and others bypass the Age of Centralized Power.
arcmetal
not rated yet Feb 01, 2017
...Perhaps solar, wind, and other local resources will let these above and others bypass the Age of Centralized Power.


Somewhere I had read a quote from an engineer in the 1890's that said something like "its a poor decision to vaporize the mines". The consequences for that poor decision is finally filtering to the common person.

The know how and material for this technology has been around for more than hundred years, the only thing missing has been the will to do it.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Feb 02, 2017
You admitted you are a sniper hiding behind two cut-outs using a phony name to play your "games". That is the lowest form of artificial life
George kamburoff looks down on most posters here for using pseudonyms including arcmetal.

Arcmetal, ask your buddy why he thinks you are a low form of life? Also why he thinks he can play you like a cheap kazoo? Also why doesnt he post his pics on his little website so everybody can check google maps (again) and see that they are not of his roof?

So many questions, only one answer

"One psychopath interviewed by Hare's team said quite frankly: "The first thing I do is I size you up. I look for an angle, an edge, figure out what you need and give it to you. Then it's pay-back time, with interest. I tighten the screws."

-the only game george ever plays.
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 02, 2017
This isn't just a science site, it is an example of the Goober Phenomenon, wherein those who never made it in school or in society assume phony names and abuse others, having some kind of "power" for once in their little lives.

Once you get through the nasty words and adolescent abuse, it gets interesting. Their fixations are genuine and overwhelming, and drives them to more and more extremes of actions. One of them has created an entire dossier on me, and stuffs it with whatever he can find on me.

Interesting stuff.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Feb 02, 2017
This isn't just a science site, it is an example of the Goober Phenomenon, wherein those who never made it in school or in society assume phony names and abuse others, having some kind of "power" for once in their little lives
Funny. We know the real george kamburoff flunked out of 3 undergrad schools and so had to buy an honorary MS. And just lately he implied he has a phd no less.

And we know he crapped out of at least 12 jobs, and sat idle as a 'consultant' for years, during the course of his 'career'.

And he lets us know these things under his real name.

Is this your definition of 'making it'?? Or is just being you all thats necessary hmmmm?
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 02, 2017
Why do the "moderators" allow such personal attacks? Where are they?

Do the internet snipers and other cowards own this forum?
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Feb 02, 2017
There is no uncertainty in California. We do not have to count on the feds for much in our plans to make our society less polluted more efficient, and a better place to live.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Feb 03, 2017
There is no uncertainty in California. We do not have to count on the feds for much in our plans to make our society less polluted more efficient, and a better place to live.
-So whos going to take care of all that airborne manure dust that you claimed was the major pollutant of the high air above the central valley? (Its not) You know, the stuff you called 'volatile solids' because of your 'MS' in environmental mgt? (Its not)

You do know that manure dust is against CFR regs dont you?

Haha

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