The Man Who Fought Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm Becomes US President
Renewable energy as a vital part of the future US energy mix has been put under a question mark after the announcement that Donald Trump won the presidential elections, given that his energy policy is most likely to revolve around fossil fuels.
If this will affect the country’s offshore wind industry in any way is yet to be seen, since Donald Trump’s energy vision is still to be detailed to form the whole picture of his plans. America recently got its first offshore wind farm and has a number of wind energy projects proposed to be built off its coasts in the pipeline.
In offshore wind circles on the other side of the Atlantic, in the UK, the new US President is known for his fight against the Aberdeen Offshore Wind Farm, or the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC). Namely, Trump had been opposing the construction of the EOWDC claiming it would ruin the landscape and the view from his golf resort in Aberdeen. Last month, the construction phase of the offshore wind project kicked off.
Vestas shares down
Among today’s numerous news on the result of the US election, The Independent reported that Vestas’ shares fell “amid fears that a Donald Trump presidency will be disastrous for the renewable energy industry.”
Donald Trump’s policy on energy centres around the concept of ‘energy independence’ and the development of domestic oil, gas and coal reserves, while Hillary Clinton had campaigned for an expedited transition to renewable energy sources, and had targeted a reduction in domestic oil consumption, Douglas-Westwood explained.
That the renewables could have an uncertain future under Trump, speaks the manifesto of the newly elected US president: “Unleash America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves.”
“Whilst the result is undoubtedly a blow for the renewable energy industry, the historic election result is perhaps welcome news for a hydrocarbon industry that has been on the ropes for over two years,” Douglas-Westwood said.
However, it is also worth noting that Trump did hint that there might be some room for renewables back in September, when he outlined his energy plan. “Our energy policy will make full use of our domestic energy sources, including traditional and renewable energy sources,” he said.