Trump vs renewable energy: not as bad as it looks


Behind President Donald Trump's dismissive rhetoric of renewable energy is a muddled picture. Executives in the industry are seeing signs the administration won't actually be as bad for them as feared.

Why it matters: Wind and solar power use skyrocketed across the U.S. over the past decade thanks in part to tax incentives and friendly policies by former President Obama. Growth in the industries led to job creation and political clout, and now renewable power is cost-competitive with other sources of electricity in some parts of the U.S., though fossil fuels remain America's dominant source of electricity. To what extent the Trump administration seeks to undermine these trends could slow, but not reverse, renewable growth.

A mix of uncertainty, chaos and ambivalence is how industry insiders attending the American Wind Energy Association's annual conference last week in Anaheim, Calif., described the Trump administration's position on renewables. In meetings with industry executives, agency officials haven't been antagonistic toward renewables, but coordinated attention isn't there either.

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