The 2016 Presidential election is over and President Elect Donald Trump is appointing members of his transition team and Cabinet to implement policies proposed during his election campaign.
Now experts, advocates and more are mulling over details of how Trump could pull the US out of the Paris Agreement and kill the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan. A group of such experts from Northwestern University recently expressed their opinions on the long- and short-term results that Trump’s presidency could have on the domestic and international energy markets, global climate change and renewable energy development.
“Significant progress has been made over the last 20 years to shift toward clean, renewable energy sources that provide the U.S. increased energy security and significantly reduce the negative impacts of energy production on the environment,” said Michael R. Wasielewski, Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN). “Research and development in these areas continue to produce new technologies that translate to new industries and job opportunities. Renewable energy and its related industries are already making a significant positive impact on the U.S. economy. It would be short-sighted to place the U.S. at a disadvantage in this area relative to our global competitors.”
It is almost certain that the incoming Trump administration will dramatically kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which promotes the development of renewable energy resources like solar and wind, in favor of the coal, oil and gas industries, according to Northwestern University Director of the Environmental Advocacy Clinic Nancy Loeb. If that happens, she suggested that complying with the Paris Agreement and future renewable energy goals may have to be implemented by state governments and that they would have to sustain the progress made in renewable energy development and integration over the last eight years.
Still, Loeb contended that the expected rollback of federal environmental regulations in favor of the coal industry are unrealistic. Moreover, they are a risky economic bet because coal-fired power plants take years to construct. Meanwhile the policies Trump would pursue to support such investment could only be guaranteed for the cycle of one administration.
Trump’s claim that he would Invigorate the US economy through fracking investments to develop the domestic oil industry also is largely out of the his control as well. Loeb emphasized that “counter to arguments made leading up to the election, regulations are not the reason drilling for oil has been down. Oil competes in a global market where other countries can readily add supply to keep prices down.” With oil going for as little as $30 per barrel in recent months, US oil production cannot compete with low-cost oil from countries like Saudi Arabia and other large oil players that impact the pricing of oil by increasing or decreasing production.
While trump has yet to put policies in place, it was clear at last week’s United Nations’ COP22 conference in Marrakech, Morocco, that some are anxious about what a Trump presidency will mean. Yet, at the meeting, Secretary of State John Kerry reaffirmed the US’s commitment to clean energy as did large US companies that have invested billions of dollars in clean energy and see Obama’s Clean Power Plan as a positive way forward.
For instance, 11 major corporations operating in the US were on hand at COP22 to discuss their support for the Paris Agreement. Moreover, more than 360 companies in the US have signed a pledge to continue to work with governments and invest to reduce their carbon and greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
Solar loans are becoming increasingly popular compared to other mechanisms for financing home solar-like PPAs and leases. In a PPA customers are, over a fixed period of time, paying for the solar array by paying for the power produced by the solar array on their rooftop to a third party that owns the system. Similarly, in a solar lease, they’re paying a fixed monthly payment to a third party that owns the system. In a solar loan, the home or business owner uses the loan to pay for solar equipment and is granted ownership of the equipment when it is installed.
Working with a network of over 250 solar installers, Mosaic makes financing solar installations for homeowners affordable and more accessible by providing qualifying customers no money down loans with fixed interest rates and multiple billing and installation options. Having recently procured an equity financing round of up to $220 million in August (2016) and an additional financing agreement for another warehouse facility in April (2016), Mosaic has become a major solar player by creating loan program agreements with 21 out of the 25 of the largest solar installers in the US.
"Solar loans are becoming a more common financing choice for people that purchase solar panel systems, and we're pleased to work with industry leaders like Solar Mosaic to advance this growing asset class," said Rob Sannicandro, Director at Deutsche Bank.
As the solar industry grows and the cost of solar equipment and installation decreases across the US, new and innovative financing options for homeowners and businesses continue to come to the surface. For instance, SolarCity has developed solar loan financing agreements through its MyPower program that provide customers with low-interest rates and options to pay as little as $50 per month for solar services.Tweet