Intersolar Europe 2017: Industry offers defiant response to Trump’s Paris snub

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Image credit: © Solar Promotion GmbH

Solar and energy storage will continue their impressive momentum regardless of the US’ involvement or lack of in the global climate agreement and the country now faces the risk of missing out on the rewards of a switch to a low carbon economy, industry figures have said. 

The Paris deal, which Trump has confirmed the US will leave, offered a strong global signal to investors offering an intangible but significant boost to the industry.

News of the US plans broke during the Intersolar Europe exhibition in Munich and were met with a frosty but defiant response.

One California-based company director, who preferred not to be named, said: “It will take three years for the US to leave the Paris agreement. The Trump presidency won’t last that long.”

California approved plans to increase its renewable energy goal to 100% and mandate solar on new buildings on the same day as Trump’s announcement.

SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson was scathing of the move.

“Trump withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is one of the most irresponsible decisions from a major country in modern history,” he told PV Tech in a statement. “The US needs to be stepping up to lead on tackling climate change, not stepping out. The rest of the world will keep calm and carry on addressing climate change, while the US will simply miss out on the rewards that go with transitioning an economy away from fossil fuels.”

Jef Poortmans, programme director for PV at imec suggested the move could backfire. “The biggest victim will be the United States itself. His decision means the progress that US companies could profit from in this growing sector are now reduced. It won’t have too much influence, the rest of the world has indicated its intention to go on, even the Russians. And inside the US, individual states and cities have also said they will continue to invest in this green track,” he said.

The response from the energy storage industry is similar with some hope that in the end, the maths will win out.

“In Germany the energy transition was motivated politically. In the US there was always discussion about climate change, but really the main driver was the economics,” said Philip Hiersemenzel communications director at Younicos. “That’s why you see the largest wind farms in Texas, [which is] not the most eco-aggressive state, let’s put it that way.”

With that pragmatism, Younicos believes the economic argument for clean energy will win out.

Wider response

In a strong statement of disapproval, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that he would be stepping down as an advisor to the White House. Musk had been serving on two Presidential advisory councils.

US-based sustainability think tank, the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), issued a statement responding to the president’s decision.

“We are greatly disappointed in President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

“The US solar industry employed 260,077 workers last year, a nearly 25 percent increase in the number of jobs since 2015. Betting on energy technologies of the past is bad for business and bad for jobs,” the RMI statement continued.

Additional reporting by Andy Colthorpe

14 June 2022
Join us in Napa to unlock the key to reliable PV module supply to the U.S. market in 2022 & 2023. We'll also be gathering the main players in the US solar market for some wine tasting!
23 August 2022
Intersolar South America, South America’s largest exhibition and conference for the solar industry, takes place at the Expo Center Norte in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 23–25, 2022, and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. At the accompanying Intersolar South America Conference, renowned experts shed light on hot topics in the solar industry. In 2021 – despite the Covid-19 pandemic – Intersolar South America welcomed more than 28,000 visitors and over 1,000 conference attendees over 3 days. 200+ providers showcased their products. Combining local and international expertise, Intersolar South America brings together the PV and solar thermal sector to discuss the current status and strategic trends for Latin American PV markets, as well as technology innovations and new business opportunities. Overall, distributed generation is still driving momentum in the Brazilian market.
6 September 2022
Intersolar Mexico sits at the cross-section of photovoltaics, solar heating & cooling technologies, and energy storage. The event serves as the industry’s go-to source for invaluable technology trends and premier B2B contacts in the promising Mexican solar market. From September 6–8, 2022 Intersolar Mexico together with the co-located The GREEN Expo® and Aquatech Mexico will take place in Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City.
4 October 2022
Solar & Storage Finance USA, the only event that connects developers to capital and capital to solar and storage projects, will be back in November 2022.

Read Next

May 19, 2022
The EU Solar Energy Strategy, published alongside the REPowerEU strategy yesterday, has targeted 400GWdc of solar PV by 2025 and almost 740GWdc by 2030, a significant jump on the bloc’s previous targets as it looks to cut its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.
PV Tech Premium
May 17, 2022
Ahead of the release of the European Commission’s much-anticipated Solar Strategy, PV Tech speaks to numerous industry stakeholders to determine just what Europe’s PV sector needs to fulfil its potential.
May 16, 2022
The world added record amounts of renewable energy last year with 295GW of capacity deployed, up 6% year-on-year, despite supply chain constraints, project delays and high commodity prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which also expects nearly 320GW to be deployed this year.  
May 13, 2022
The global solar community has called for “robust and fast policies” alongside increased international cooperation to accelerate PV deployment and the energy transition.
May 13, 2022
Retail giant IKEA has partnered with US residential solar installer SunPower to offer home PV solutions in the US.
May 13, 2022
Welcome back to PV Tech's live coverage of the third and final day of Intersolar Europe 2022. This story will be updated throughout the day, so be sure to refresh for the latest news, product launches and insight from the exhibition

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
June 14, 2022
Napa, USA
Solar Media Events
October 4, 2022
New York, USA