Clean technology will move forward despite a Trump administration. - Grist


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Clean technology will move forward despite a Trump administration.

The morning after the election, solar and wind stocks weren’t looking great, and the stocks of a bankrupt coal company were on the rise. Trump promises to resuscitate coal and scrap the Clean Power Plan.

Here are a few bright spots in all that gloom:

As long as America has California, it’ll have a cleantech industry. California has the largest economy in the U.S. Its ambitious renewables goals and support for electric and hybrid vehicles have created a substantial cleantech domestic market that persists, even when federal support wavers.

When oil prices go up, so will renewable energy profits. Saudi Arabia flooded the market with cheap oil to kneecap the shale oil boom and annoy Russia. This geopolitical bonanza is about to end, and it’ll be terrible for America’s water supply, because it’ll make fracking lucrative again. But higher oil prices also make renewable energy into a more lucrative investment, to the point where they could beat fossil fuels in the marketplace without government support.

World moves forward on cleantech. Last year, 196 countries pledged trillions to moving off fossil fuels. If Trump follows through on his promise to stymie U.S. participation, that’s America’s loss, because those 195 countries are all potential customers of (and investors in) U.S. technology. Other countries have their own research universities and venture capital. They’ll design better wind turbines and smart grids, and happily sell them to each other.

As Ceres President Mindy Lubber said: “The world [is] moving forward, with or without us.”