By David MacDonald I couldn’t tell you if it was in a book or a poem – or, and I know I’m in danger of dating myself here, on an overhead projector – in high school, but I distinctly remember loving the word ‘contumacious’ when I first came across it. “Stubbornly or willfully disobedient to authority” – what teenager wouldn’t love that? Well apparently solar companies across the US are embrac- ing that rebellious feeling in more ways than one these days. Since President Trump announced that his administration was pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord in late spring, their shares are up and business is looking good. The two biggest panels on the rooftop, as it were, Sunrun Inc. and Vivint Solar Inc., are soaking up the sun. Since the President’s announcement of the American withdrawal from the accord, Sunrun has seen a 42 percent stock jump and Vivint 86 percent.
announcement as policies and equipment prices had been adjusted before the Obama- Trump transition. In a late-June re-election campaign speech which touted the border region with Mexico as a reliable source of solar energy, President Trump indicated that his administration is hoping to buy solar panels while the sun is still shining, so to speak. The popularity of subsidies for business and home owners in states like Nevada have caught the attention of border wall designers, who are looking for any way to make the controversial infrastructure project more palatable to the American people. “We’re talking about the southern border: lots of sun, lots of heat,” President Trump said. “We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy – and pays for itself.” Solar energy, it seems, isn’t a factor in the “bad deal” that President Obama signed. But as Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance analyst Ethan Zindler explained, “There are certainly things that Trump and Congress can do to affect this industry in a significant way in the short run, but Paris isn’t on the list.” So while the solar industry as a whole is benefiting from a reactive consumer class, their actions may be misplaced. Source: Bloomberg
But there’s the rub.
While President Trump was uninterested – or unconcerned – in the conclusions and data presented to his predecessor in late 2015 by international panels in Paris, he’s apparently ready to begin a different sort of panel discussion at home.
Clean-energy installations, according to Bloomberg, were already on the rise in most US states prior to the President’s
SPOTLIGHT ON BUSINESS MAGAZINE • JULY 2017
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