Solar companies say climate executive order won't slow them down

View original article here

President Donald Trump's executive order on climate change is aimed to put an "end to the war on coal" and spur classic American energy jobs, but solar businesses think the future is through the sun.President Donald Trump's executive order on climate change is aimed to put an "end to the war on coal" and spur classic American energy jobs, but solar businesses think the future is through the sun.

Trump has called global warming a "hoax," and has repeatedly criticized Obama's efforts as an attack on American workers and the struggling U.S. coal industry.

West Virginia's attorney general and two senators were at the signing of the order and called it a victory for coal mining.

"We must stop ignoring the damage these regulations caused our energy sector, our economy and our way of life in West Virginia," said Sen. Joe Manchin.

But folks with Sigora Solar, a Waynesboro-based company specializing in solar design and installation, said this policy will not hurt their business, whatsoever.

They said there is a lot of momentum going right now for renewable energy, where solar is coming off its best year yet. The industry now employs more than twice as many Americans as the coal industry and they aren't worried about that changing.

"The trends that we've seen as far as more employment in alternative energy, solar specifically, that there's not going to be a resurgence in coal mines."

Welch added the renewal of the solar tax credit last year will help keep prices lower for solar energy, but that he'd like to see even more incentives for clean energy.

The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2016 showed Virginia as 9th among all states for year-by-year solar growth, and the number of solar jobs in the state went up 65% from 2015 to 2016.

"It is clear that Virginia is moving in the right direction, but there is still work to do," said Gov. Terry McAuliffe. "I will continue to work with our public and private sector stakeholders to implement policies that will continue to bolster not only our solar industry, but the entire clean energy sector in the Commonwealth.”

RD Design