He was never going to go quietly, but Donald Trump and his most fanatical supporters ensured that the last weeks of the US President’s term will go down in history for mayhem and mischief after the latter stormed the Capitol.
As America’s renewable energy sector – and many others – look forward with relief to the arrival of Joe Biden, a Recharge analysis piece asks whether a political backlash after the chaos at the Capitol, plus the Democrats’ victory in Georgia’s election run-offs, could fuel delivery of the new President’s lofty green ambitions.
In a debut column for Recharge, former American Wind Energy Association CEO Tom Kiernan argues that the Democrat-controlled Congress will need to find new ways of working with the clean energy industry and its stakeholders if it wants it to prosper.
There’s certainly plenty for US renewables to be excited about in 2021, not least in its fast-emerging offshore wind sector.
The world’s biggest wind turbine OEMs are hoping Biden’s ambitions will help maintain their stunning US momentum of the last few years, while also looking for new markets to fuel future growth around the world.
There’s no business in the renewable energy sector more international than Vestas, and the global onshore market leader saw out 2020 with a bang in the form of a big order for its EnVentus machines in Colombia– the first for the platform in Latin America.
Fellow European wind giant Siemens Gamesa made an early-year mark in a new market by securing its first business in Ethiopia, a nation tipped to become a major source of orders for the turbine sector in the years ahead.
Meanwhile for GE Renewable Energy the new year joy came close to home, in the form of a huge gigawatt-plus deal with development giant Pattern to equip a project in New Mexico that’s said to be America’s largest one-phase wind build yet.
German OEM Nordex also saw first success in 2021 thanks to a deal for 5.7MW-rated turbines in Finland that again showed how onshore wind is punching upwards in power.
One prediction that can be made with confidence for 2021 is that ‘Big Oil’ will feature ever more prominently in the global renewable power sector.
Last year could accurately be described as pivotal in the energy transition plans of the likes of BP, with its first foray into offshore wind, and Total, with a dizzying array of deals across wind and solar.
But as the new year began, Recharge reported how analysts at HSBC warned that oil majors can’t “have their cake and eat it” by contemplating spinning off their burgeoning clean energy assets while still expecting them to contribute to corporate decarbonisation goals.