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Utility Dive: Biden win could double annual solar deployments, increase financial impacts to utility customers — S&P

Posted by Emma Penrod on Oct 28, 2020

Utility Dive covered a recent S&P report on the impact of a Biden presidency on clean energy in the U.S., quoting AEE's J.R. Tolbert. Read excerpts below and the entire piece here.

A victory by the Biden administration could nearly double the annual rate of solar deployment in the U.S., according to a new report by S&P Global Ratings, but the presidential candidate's pragmatic approach to the nation's ongoing energy transition could result in a more gradual implementation to minimize financial impacts to customers.

U.S. utilities have, largely of their own accord, begun an energy transition, with the utility industry "cutting in half its reliance on coal generation, and increasing its reliance on natural gas generation," the S&P report reads. "The industry's robust capital spending is centered on renewable energy, battery technology, and natural gas generation. We expect that regardless of the U.S. administration, the utilities will continue on this path."

J.R. Tolbert, managing director of the national business group Advanced Energy Economy, holds views similar to the S&P report.

"Under a Trump administration we expect to see continued growth of advanced energy as these technologies are now competing on price and performance with natural gas and even better against coal and oil," he said. "This despite Trump's attempts to resuscitate coal has been a failure in the face of technology and market forces. Embracing clean energy technology and moving away from fossil fuel commodities is simply a better long-term economic solution than fossil fuels..."

Advanced Energy Economy also expects that a Trump administration could attempt to impede state climate commitments and rules related to competitive wholesale markets, Tolbert said. 

"Under a Trump administration that continues to throw hurdles in front of a global growth sector, we may lose our competitiveness," Tolbert said...

And analysis by Advanced Energy Economy, Tolbert said, suggests this approach could result in economic gains across the nation, ranging from a four-fold return on investment in Florida to a fourteen-fold impact in Arizona.

"Bottom line," Tolbert said, "advanced energy technologies are competing now on cost and performance. The next president can choose to hamper this exponential growth and reduce U.S. competitiveness, or accelerate it and benefit from millions of new jobs."

Read the entire Utility Dive piece here.

Topics: AEE In The News