The election of Donald Trump has caused conniption fits amongst the hard green-left in the United States and elsewhere. Pundits predicted, with supreme confidence, that Hillary Clinton would take the White House and that all would be well in the politically correct garden.
However, America’s “basket of deplorables” had other ideas: a brash and vulgar businessmen, more famed for his line “you’re fired” on the reality TV show, The Apprentice, Trump not only won convincingly, the Republican Party increased its majority in the House and retained its majority in the Senate. Oops!
Donald Trump has made no secret of his plans to scrap a raft of “job destroying” policies invented by climate change Chicken Littles; and his hatred of these things goes back a decade to the bitter feud he has been in with a wind farm developer attempting to spear 11 turbines off the coast adjacent to his golf resort in Aberdeen Bay Scotland.
With Trump announcing policies directed at slashing energy prices, in order to make American industry and manufacturing competitive again, it’s a pretty fair bet that wind power is unlikely to win the kind of ‘favour’ that it was guaranteed to get from a Clinton administration; and the market knows it.
In an ‘oh dear, how sad, never mind’ turnaround, the shares of renewable subsidy-suckers – like struggling Danish turbine maker, Vestas – have taken a pounding.
Coal Resurgent, Renewables in retreat after Trump win
Global Warming Policy Forum
Javier Blas and Anna Hirtenstein
9 November 2016
If you want a snapshot of what the global energy map will look like under President Donald Trump, look no farther than the stock market. As coal enjoys a comeback, the biggest loser could be fight against climate change.
Glencore Plc, the world’s top coal trader, surged more than 5 percent on Wednesday. Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest wind-turbine maker, plunged as much as 13 percent. The swing foretells a story of fossil fuels making a comeback, while the fight against climate change — and investment in wind and solar power — languishes.
“De-carbonisation, which has been the organizing principle of Obama’s energy policy, came to a screeching halt last night,” said Bob McNally, president of consultant Rapidan Group in Washington and a former senior energy official at the White House under Republican President George W. Bush.
In his only major energy policy speech ahead of the elections, Trump said that he would rescind “job-destroying” environmental regulations within 100 days of taking office and cancel the climate deal reached last year in Paris.
“A Trump administration will focus on real environmental challenges, not the phony ones we’ve been looking at,” Trump told supporters in May in North Dakota, the birth-place of the U.S. shale revolution.
To be sure, Trump has offered few clues on how he plans to implement his plans. Energy and climate policy has taken a back-seat to immigration, the economy and debate about the candidate’s fitness for office. And some of his proposals are contradictory, like his pledge to boost both natural gas and coal, two fuels that compete against each other in the power generation market.
Yet, few doubt who’s likely to win and lose, particularly as Trump can rely on supportive lawmakers in Congress to push his agenda.
“The result is undoubtedly a blow for the renewable energy industry,” said Matt Loffman, an analyst at energy consultant Douglas-Westwood in Houston. “The historic election result is perhaps welcome news for a hydrocarbon industry that has been on the ropes for over two years.”
Coal prices already are enjoying a renaissance after China, the world’s largest consumer, cut domestic production, forcing power plants to buy overseas. The cost of thermal coal in the Australian port of Newcastle, a benchmark for Asia, has more than doubled since January to a four-year high of $114.75 a ton.
Shares of big coal miners such as Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Plc and Rio Tinto Plc rose between 2 percent and 4 percent on Wednesday. Wind turbine makers Gamesa Corp. Tecnologica SA and Nordex SE fell. Solar panel makers plunged in New York, led by SunPower Corp., First Solar Inc. and Canadian Solar Inc.
In the graph above, it’s pretty evident that in the run-up to the election investors saw Vestas as a surefire bet, given their obvious expectation of a Clinton win. However, as they say in the trenches “no battle plan survives contact with the enemy”. And the wind industry has clearly won an enemy for life in the shape of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump wins: Shares plummet for biggest wind turbine company as result throws renewable energy future into doubt
10 November 2016
President elect has pledged to back fracking and coal but manifesto makes no mention of green power
Shares in the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines plunged amid fears that a Donald Trump presidency will be disastrous for the renewable energy industry.
Danish firm Vestas fell as much as 14 per cent before regaining some losses to trade 6.6 per cent lower at 440.20 kroner (£52.60). Vestas shares had already lost ground as the race tightened in the days before the vote.
Wind turbines are given generous subsidies in the US, as the world’s biggest per-capita polluter attempts to reduce its carbon output. However, Mr Trump’s aggressively pro-business, anti-government stance puts any government assistance under threat.
Mr Trump’s manifesto promises an “energy revolution” which he will bring about by unleashing “America’s $50 trillion in untapped shale, oil, and natural gas reserves, plus hundreds of years in clean coal reserves”.
Mr Trump has also committed to “open onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands, eliminate moratorium on coal leasing, and open shale energy deposits” and, “encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will both reduce emissions but also reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.”
The manifesto goes on to say that Mr Trump will “reduce all barriers to responsible energy production,” leading to cheaper energy, an example of which it cites as Barack Obama’s standards designed to reduce methane emissions.
Removal or reduction of renewable subsidies would hit Vestas and other green energy companies severely.
“The Vestas share reaction is a result of concerns that Trump will focus more on fossil fuels,” Otto Friedrichsen, equity strategist at Formuepleje, said. “Now there’s concern how Vestas will perform in the US under a president who’ll be more interested in looking out for the country’s coal industry.”
According to an Ernst & Young LLP survey published last month, the US stands to lose its position as the top-ranked renewable-energy market for investors under a Trump administration.
Mr Trump has made clear “he hates wind turbines and will do what he can to fight them,” Jacob Pedersen, head of equity analysis at Sydbank, said earlier this month.
In the aftermath of the election, STT couldn’t help but chuckle at exhortations from the likes of Greenpeace & Co and other wind cult acolytes that the incoming President will be powerless to unwind the UN Paris Climate Agreement, railing that the Agreement is already “in force” (see this ‘stamp your feet and hold your breath’ rant from wind-cult central, the ABC).
STT is left somewhat bemused, wondering at the number of Divisions at the disposal of the UN, the size and strength of the UN’s Navy and Air Force and what would happen to it if the United States of America decided to stop throwing $billions at the UN every year, draining the financial swamp upon which the UN’s brand of ‘ram-it-down-their-throats’ eco-fascism critically depends?
The Paris Climate Agreement may well be “in force”, but who on Earth is going to enforce it? The French? The Chinese? Djibouti?
Trump, as President and Commander in Chief has the option of simply ignoring the job and wealth destroying strictures of an extraterritorial policy deliberately designed to cripple energy hungry businesses, such as manufacturing, mining and mineral processing; and which comes with the naked and monstrous objective of driving the poor even deeper into poverty, no matter where in the world they live. Remember, it was out of work auto workers in Wisconsin and out of work steelworkers in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio who helped put Trump in the White House.
Trump does not need to rescind America’s commitment to the Agreement, all he needs to do is scrap the domestic legislation put in place that would follow it: policies such as the Production Tax Credit that flows to wind power outfits, making ‘profitable’ that which would otherwise never find a market; because it can never be delivered on demand, a product with no commercial value.
With Republicans firmly in control of Congress, and a President hostile to the infantile nonsense of subsidising a power source that was abandoned centuries ago for pretty obvious reasons, the wind industry in America is as good as doomed.
God bless America’s “basket of deplorables”.