The first 100 days: No foreseeable impact to solar homeowners in the near future.
A couple months ago, we wrote a blog that made some educated guesses about how the solar industry would (or would not) change under the new administration. We surmised that while Trump’s Energy First plan focused on rejuvenating fossil fuels, the renewable energy was not immediately threatened because of its job creation – a cornerstone of President Trumps campaign. We did not directly touch on predicting environmental impact at the time, which is a separate topic itself. However, our original notion that renewable energy sector will not change much.
Over the next week or so there will be a litany of reviews and critiques of Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. What started out as a mistranslation during FDR’s first term, the first 100 days of a presidency has been a litmus test for a sitting president ever since. While there is a wide base of policies and promises that will be subject to scrutiny, this article will focus on the impact Trump’s first 100 days will have on solar owners and the renewable energy market.
These first 100 days began with a whirlwind of executive orders. It seemed that drastic change was on its way, and fast. Shortly after the first week however, the pace of the orders began to taper off and after the dust settled there was very little impact to the world of renewable energy. Certainly the revival of the Keystone pipeline and the lift on fossil fuel restrictions will not be doing the environment any favors, but the effects will not bring about the huge shakeup in the energy sector that it’s meant too.
Renewable energy and solar in particular is not growing every year because of government restrictions on federal reserves, its growing because the economics are in their favor. Renewable energy is becoming cheaper at an increasing rate, especially at the utility scale. It makes more sense to build a new renewable project than a new coal plant. Utilities know that the likelihood of these new policies lasting beyond the trump administration is very small, and a new energy plant needs to plan for the coming decades, well beyond 4-8 years.
These policies are not great news for the environment, and even worse if the U.S. pulls its funding from the U.N. climate change programs, but for the regular joe, solar owner not much has changed. Federal subsidies and tax breaks are still in place, not to mention state and utility programs that make solar more affordable. It doesn’t appear that anything is going to change in the foreseeable future either. So for now there is nothing to fear but high electricity bills and rising sea levels due to climate change.