Although it is not yet certain whether variables will derive for the US presidential election, the current status is that Democratic nominee Joe Biden has defeated the incumbent Donald Trump, which is the desired results for the US renewable energy industry, where the field of solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, and infrastructure equipment for power grids, has placed high hopes on the Green New Deal.
Biden had proposed a clean energy program prior to the election that is worth US$2 trillion, which offers projects including energy tax exemption and the policy of a zero carbon industry, and hopes to elevate the ratio of clean energy in the fields of traffic, electricity, and construction. Now the president-elect has even promised to achieve carbon-free power generation by 2035 through replacing coal-fired power generation with renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy, followed by an economy of zero emission by the year of 2050.
While coping with climate change, the program will also create job opportunities and establish infrastructures, which is perhaps what each country urgently needs after the pandemic. Biden pointed out that the particular program will create millions of high-paying jobs, and constantly emphasizes the importance of anti-climate change, who mentioned that he will re-join the Paris Agreement on the first day of his presidency tenure. “The challenge of climate change will define the future of the US, and I realize that this is a once in a century opportunity that allows for economic invigoration, elevation of the global leading status for the US, and the safeguard of the planet for our posterity”, commented Biden.
Compared to Trump, who is an avid supporter of fossil fuel and coal-burning, the industry generally believes that Biden’s assumption of office will be helpful to the development of green energy. Suppliers of equipment and technology for renewable energy, energy storage, and power grid infrastructures, as well as companies that are dedicated in carbon reduction, have successively congratulated Biden, and hope that the new administration is able to implement measures as soon as possible by eagerly proposing recommendations to the relevant policy.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of American Wind Energy Association, commented that Biden and his administration have stipulated a solution of ambitious comprehensive energy policy, and believes that renewable energy is capable of facilitating US economy and creating a more eco-friendly environment, while also maintaining low electricity prices and responding to climate change. The US wind department is prepared to realize the program alongside the continuously expanding personnel in the future.
Abigail Ross Hopper, CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), commented that Biden’s climate change program has the potential of creating millions of high-paying jobs in the US, and she hopes to work with the latter’s administration and the congress in the future on facilitating carbon reduction measures, including the tax policy for solar energy and energy storage.
As the installed capacity of renewable energy surges in the US, the upgrade of power grids and the deployment of energy storage have become emphases in the resolving of intermittence for solar and wind energy, and tax exemption will become one of the incentives in increasing installed capacity. Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of Energy Storage Association, pointed out that the government should focus on the carbon reduction in electricity and the transportation industry, as it will also propel the development of energy storage.
Will things proceed as smoothly as the public perceives with Biden’s triumph in the presidential election? Simon Flowers, Chairman and Analyst of Wood Mackenzie, certainly doesn’t think so, as he believes that the divided government is very likely to severely weaken Biden’s energy program since the Democratic Party did not receive the majority seats of the senate, which may postpone relevant legislation and stimuli.
Despite Trump’s preference on fossil fuel, the development in solar and wind energy has been expeditious over recent years thanks to the vigorous implementation from investors, which has led to the record high ratio of power generation from renewable energy for the country. From a global perspective, the new installed capacity of green energy for 2020 is expected to climb to the historical high of 200GW, with renewable energy occupying 90% within the new installed capacity. Green energy is anticipated to account for 1/3 of global power generation by 2025, and will become a global trend then.
(Cover photo source: Flickr/coniferconifer CC BY 2.0)