US wind's resilience

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Ilaria Valtimora
April 10, 2017
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
US wind's resilience

It is less than three months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president, and it has been eventful as expected – not least his intervention in Syria last week after horrific chemical attacks.

Trump has also been waging war at home, on programmes set up by predecessor Barack Obama, including Medicare and the Climate Change Plan. And he has started the process of undermining and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is evidence that his interventions are having little impact on the desire of US utilities to grow in renewables, including wind. The clearest indication of this so far is in the 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report, which shows US utilities are positive on the prospects for sources like wind.

The report is based on an online questionnaire in January. This means the full Trump effect had not been felt yet, but his views on energy – and particularly his antipathy to renewables – were well known before his inauguration, so we should take this seriously. Over 600 electric utility employees from the US and Canada have taken part. Here are the three most interesting findings we saw for the US wind sector:

1) Utilities are confident in the growth of renewables including wind, and they expect coal, oil and nuclear to decline.

Pushed by state-level policies, federal tax credits and 'green' laws issued by the Obama administration, US utilities have increasingly added renewable energy capacity to their energy mixes over the past decade, helping them to shift from coal power production. It will be almost impossible to Trump to reverse this momentum.

When asked how they think power mixes will change over the next ten years, utilities were confident about the rise of solar, wind and natural gas. Looking in particular at wind, 48% of the respondents believe that wind production will moderately increase over the next 10 years, while 23% believe that it will significantly increase. Just 5% of the respondents expect wind energy production to fall.

And utilities are pessimistic about coal, oil and nuclear. In no region of the US did more than 10% of respondents say they expected any expansion of coal in the energy mix – despite Trump’s promises of support. This shows that utilities see renewable energy across the nation more cost competitive than coal production.

2) The election of Donald Trump has not yet influenced the outlook for the wind sector...

A majority of respondents believe that the election of President Trump will not have a significant impact on the outlook for most renewable energy resources.

We mainly see two reasons for this. First, renewables are now cost-competitive with gas generation and cheaper than coal. This means that simply make business sense for utilities to choose it.

And second, Trump is expected to eliminate a number of federal regulations on utilities and devolve more authority to the states. Utilities plan any change in their capacity additions years in advance, this means that changes in federal policies may not impact many long-term plans of utilities.

3) ...but they fear he will destabilise the market more widely.

While Trump has not had a great influence on renewables so far,
he may still have in future – or, at least, his attempts to favour some sources over others could help destabilise the market. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated uncertainty over future market conditions as the biggest challenge of the changing energy mix.

But overall, the survey highlights that utilities see the future of energy is with low carbon sources, including wind. The use of renewables is no longer seen just as a government’s imposition,
but as a sensible investment.

US electricity companies see renewables as attractive and, in the very early days of Trump's presidency, his policies have done little to change their minds – even while, on matters such as bombing Syria, he has made some high-profile U-turns.

It is less than three months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president, and it has been eventful as expected – not least his intervention in Syria last week after horrific chemical attacks.

Trump has also been waging war at home, on programmes set up by predecessor Barack Obama, including Medicare and the Climate Change Plan. And he has started the process of undermining and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is evidence that his interventions are having little impact on the desire of US utilities to grow in renewables, including wind. The clearest indication of this so far is in the 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report, which shows US utilities are positive on the prospects for sources like wind.

The report is based on an online questionnaire in January. This means the full Trump effect had not been felt yet, but his views on energy – and particularly his antipathy to renewables – were well known before his inauguration, so we should take this seriously. Over 600 electric utility employees from the US and Canada have taken part. Here are the three most interesting findings we saw for the US wind sector:

1) Utilities are confident in the growth of renewables including wind, and they expect coal, oil and nuclear to decline.

Pushed by state-level policies, federal tax credits and 'green' laws issued by the Obama administration, US utilities have increasingly added renewable energy capacity to their energy mixes over the past decade, helping them to shift from coal power production. It will be almost impossible to Trump to reverse this momentum.

When asked how they think power mixes will change over the next ten years, utilities were confident about the rise of solar, wind and natural gas. Looking in particular at wind, 48% of the respondents believe that wind production will moderately increase over the next 10 years, while 23% believe that it will significantly increase. Just 5% of the respondents expect wind energy production to fall.

And utilities are pessimistic about coal, oil and nuclear. In no region of the US did more than 10% of respondents say they expected any expansion of coal in the energy mix – despite Trump’s promises of support. This shows that utilities see renewable energy across the nation more cost competitive than coal production.

2) The election of Donald Trump has not yet influenced the outlook for the wind sector...

A majority of respondents believe that the election of President Trump will not have a significant impact on the outlook for most renewable energy resources.

We mainly see two reasons for this. First, renewables are now cost-competitive with gas generation and cheaper than coal. This means that simply make business sense for utilities to choose it.

And second, Trump is expected to eliminate a number of federal regulations on utilities and devolve more authority to the states. Utilities plan any change in their capacity additions years in advance, this means that changes in federal policies may not impact many long-term plans of utilities.

3) ...but they fear he will destabilise the market more widely.

While Trump has not had a great influence on renewables so far,
he may still have in future – or, at least, his attempts to favour some sources over others could help destabilise the market. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated uncertainty over future market conditions as the biggest challenge of the changing energy mix.

But overall, the survey highlights that utilities see the future of energy is with low carbon sources, including wind. The use of renewables is no longer seen just as a government’s imposition,
but as a sensible investment.

US electricity companies see renewables as attractive and, in the very early days of Trump's presidency, his policies have done little to change their minds – even while, on matters such as bombing Syria, he has made some high-profile U-turns.

It is less than three months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president, and it has been eventful as expected – not least his intervention in Syria last week after horrific chemical attacks.

Trump has also been waging war at home, on programmes set up by predecessor Barack Obama, including Medicare and the Climate Change Plan. And he has started the process of undermining and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is evidence that his interventions are having little impact on the desire of US utilities to grow in renewables, including wind. The clearest indication of this so far is in the 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report, which shows US utilities are positive on the prospects for sources like wind.

The report is based on an online questionnaire in January. This means the full Trump effect had not been felt yet, but his views on energy – and particularly his antipathy to renewables – were well known before his inauguration, so we should take this seriously. Over 600 electric utility employees from the US and Canada have taken part. Here are the three most interesting findings we saw for the US wind sector:

1) Utilities are confident in the growth of renewables including wind, and they expect coal, oil and nuclear to decline.

Pushed by state-level policies, federal tax credits and 'green' laws issued by the Obama administration, US utilities have increasingly added renewable energy capacity to their energy mixes over the past decade, helping them to shift from coal power production. It will be almost impossible to Trump to reverse this momentum.

When asked how they think power mixes will change over the next ten years, utilities were confident about the rise of solar, wind and natural gas. Looking in particular at wind, 48% of the respondents believe that wind production will moderately increase over the next 10 years, while 23% believe that it will significantly increase. Just 5% of the respondents expect wind energy production to fall.

And utilities are pessimistic about coal, oil and nuclear. In no region of the US did more than 10% of respondents say they expected any expansion of coal in the energy mix – despite Trump’s promises of support. This shows that utilities see renewable energy across the nation more cost competitive than coal production.

2) The election of Donald Trump has not yet influenced the outlook for the wind sector...

A majority of respondents believe that the election of President Trump will not have a significant impact on the outlook for most renewable energy resources.

We mainly see two reasons for this. First, renewables are now cost-competitive with gas generation and cheaper than coal. This means that simply make business sense for utilities to choose it.

And second, Trump is expected to eliminate a number of federal regulations on utilities and devolve more authority to the states. Utilities plan any change in their capacity additions years in advance, this means that changes in federal policies may not impact many long-term plans of utilities.

3) ...but they fear he will destabilise the market more widely.

While Trump has not had a great influence on renewables so far,
he may still have in future – or, at least, his attempts to favour some sources over others could help destabilise the market. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated uncertainty over future market conditions as the biggest challenge of the changing energy mix.

But overall, the survey highlights that utilities see the future of energy is with low carbon sources, including wind. The use of renewables is no longer seen just as a government’s imposition,
but as a sensible investment.

US electricity companies see renewables as attractive and, in the very early days of Trump's presidency, his policies have done little to change their minds – even while, on matters such as bombing Syria, he has made some high-profile U-turns.

It is less than three months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president, and it has been eventful as expected – not least his intervention in Syria last week after horrific chemical attacks.

Trump has also been waging war at home, on programmes set up by predecessor Barack Obama, including Medicare and the Climate Change Plan. And he has started the process of undermining and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is evidence that his interventions are having little impact on the desire of US utilities to grow in renewables, including wind. The clearest indication of this so far is in the 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report, which shows US utilities are positive on the prospects for sources like wind.

The report is based on an online questionnaire in January. This means the full Trump effect had not been felt yet, but his views on energy – and particularly his antipathy to renewables – were well known before his inauguration, so we should take this seriously. Over 600 electric utility employees from the US and Canada have taken part. Here are the three most interesting findings we saw for the US wind sector:

1) Utilities are confident in the growth of renewables including wind, and they expect coal, oil and nuclear to decline.

Pushed by state-level policies, federal tax credits and 'green' laws issued by the Obama administration, US utilities have increasingly added renewable energy capacity to their energy mixes over the past decade, helping them to shift from coal power production. It will be almost impossible to Trump to reverse this momentum.

When asked how they think power mixes will change over the next ten years, utilities were confident about the rise of solar, wind and natural gas. Looking in particular at wind, 48% of the respondents believe that wind production will moderately increase over the next 10 years, while 23% believe that it will significantly increase. Just 5% of the respondents expect wind energy production to fall.

And utilities are pessimistic about coal, oil and nuclear. In no region of the US did more than 10% of respondents say they expected any expansion of coal in the energy mix – despite Trump’s promises of support. This shows that utilities see renewable energy across the nation more cost competitive than coal production.

2) The election of Donald Trump has not yet influenced the outlook for the wind sector...

A majority of respondents believe that the election of President Trump will not have a significant impact on the outlook for most renewable energy resources.

We mainly see two reasons for this. First, renewables are now cost-competitive with gas generation and cheaper than coal. This means that simply make business sense for utilities to choose it.

And second, Trump is expected to eliminate a number of federal regulations on utilities and devolve more authority to the states. Utilities plan any change in their capacity additions years in advance, this means that changes in federal policies may not impact many long-term plans of utilities.

3) ...but they fear he will destabilise the market more widely.

While Trump has not had a great influence on renewables so far,
he may still have in future – or, at least, his attempts to favour some sources over others could help destabilise the market. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated uncertainty over future market conditions as the biggest challenge of the changing energy mix.

But overall, the survey highlights that utilities see the future of energy is with low carbon sources, including wind. The use of renewables is no longer seen just as a government’s imposition,
but as a sensible investment.

US electricity companies see renewables as attractive and, in the very early days of Trump's presidency, his policies have done little to change their minds – even while, on matters such as bombing Syria, he has made some high-profile U-turns.

It is less than three months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as US president, and it has been eventful as expected – not least his intervention in Syria last week after horrific chemical attacks.

Trump has also been waging war at home, on programmes set up by predecessor Barack Obama, including Medicare and the Climate Change Plan. And he has started the process of undermining and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency.

But there is evidence that his interventions are having little impact on the desire of US utilities to grow in renewables, including wind. The clearest indication of this so far is in the 2017 State of the Electric Utility Survey Report, which shows US utilities are positive on the prospects for sources like wind.

The report is based on an online questionnaire in January. This means the full Trump effect had not been felt yet, but his views on energy – and particularly his antipathy to renewables – were well known before his inauguration, so we should take this seriously. Over 600 electric utility employees from the US and Canada have taken part. Here are the three most interesting findings we saw for the US wind sector:

1) Utilities are confident in the growth of renewables including wind, and they expect coal, oil and nuclear to decline.

Pushed by state-level policies, federal tax credits and 'green' laws issued by the Obama administration, US utilities have increasingly added renewable energy capacity to their energy mixes over the past decade, helping them to shift from coal power production. It will be almost impossible to Trump to reverse this momentum.

When asked how they think power mixes will change over the next ten years, utilities were confident about the rise of solar, wind and natural gas. Looking in particular at wind, 48% of the respondents believe that wind production will moderately increase over the next 10 years, while 23% believe that it will significantly increase. Just 5% of the respondents expect wind energy production to fall.

And utilities are pessimistic about coal, oil and nuclear. In no region of the US did more than 10% of respondents say they expected any expansion of coal in the energy mix – despite Trump’s promises of support. This shows that utilities see renewable energy across the nation more cost competitive than coal production.

2) The election of Donald Trump has not yet influenced the outlook for the wind sector...

A majority of respondents believe that the election of President Trump will not have a significant impact on the outlook for most renewable energy resources.

We mainly see two reasons for this. First, renewables are now cost-competitive with gas generation and cheaper than coal. This means that simply make business sense for utilities to choose it.

And second, Trump is expected to eliminate a number of federal regulations on utilities and devolve more authority to the states. Utilities plan any change in their capacity additions years in advance, this means that changes in federal policies may not impact many long-term plans of utilities.

3) ...but they fear he will destabilise the market more widely.

While Trump has not had a great influence on renewables so far,
he may still have in future – or, at least, his attempts to favour some sources over others could help destabilise the market. Thirty-five percent of respondents indicated uncertainty over future market conditions as the biggest challenge of the changing energy mix.

But overall, the survey highlights that utilities see the future of energy is with low carbon sources, including wind. The use of renewables is no longer seen just as a government’s imposition,
but as a sensible investment.

US electricity companies see renewables as attractive and, in the very early days of Trump's presidency, his policies have done little to change their minds – even while, on matters such as bombing Syria, he has made some high-profile U-turns.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.