Ahead of tomorrow’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, more than 530 companies and 100 investors have shown their support for renewable energy, having signed a Low Carbon USA letter to global leaders backing current climate change policies and investment in a low carbon economy.
2017 poses a particularly uncertain dynamic for the U.S. renewable market, with the expected policies of Donald Trump clashing with global ideas about renewable energy sources and the effects of climate change.
Donald Trump has notoriously dismissed scientific evidence that climate change is real and has been open about his desire to dismantle the Paris Agreement. It is, however, still expected that renewable energy, energy management and sustainability will continue to gain traction over the next year.
Already the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, Google has pledged to run their data centres and offices for over 60,000 employees on 100% renewable energy from this year after 44% of their energy consumption came from solar and wind farms in 2016.
The U.S. renewable energy market shows no signs of slowing; just yesterday, EDF Energies Nouvelles announced that they have commissioned four wind farms totalling 708.6MW. Google have signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) to procure the power generated by one of these wind farms in order to ensure that they stay true to their word and hit their 100% renewable target.
It isn’t just wind power that is leading the way. Last year, Xcel Energy’s 19 hydropower plants in Wisconsin generated 1.2million MWh, breaking the 1996 record of 1.1million MWh.
Over half of electricity generation capacity added to the U.S. grid came from renewable energy sources last year and while the future is filled with uncertainty, what are the predictions for the U.S. renewable market over the coming years?