The president's most notable action so far has been the US’s reinstatement into the Paris Agreement, after Donald Trump previously overturned several climate commitments made by the Obama administration
The reversal of anti-climate rollbacks by US President Joe Biden could “spur renewables growth momentum” across the country, says an analyst.
Throughout Donald Trump’s tenure, the former president overturned several commitments made by the Obama administration – many of which evolved around mitigating climate change.
But, since officially taking office on 20 January, Biden has already reversed some of Trump’s anti-climate measures. The most notable action so far has been the US’s reinstatement into the Paris Agreement – an international climate pact that aims to cap the rise in global temperatures at “well below” 2C by 2100.
According to data and analytics firm GlobalData, the climate reversals and tougher action on coal-friendly regulations – along with an optimistic target of making the electricity sector carbon neutral by 2035 – could lead to an “expedited rate of renewable energy expansion” in the US.
GlobalData practice head Ankit Mathur said: “While the renewable energy segment did grow by almost 9% during the Trump tenure, Biden’s election pitch set the scene for a speedy renewable growth trajectory.
“Meanwhile, the executive orders annulling the previous renewables expansion has further strengthened the new government’s strong intention to develop clean technologies with a massive push to curb the emissions, achieving carbon neutrality.”
Biden administration could improve growth momentum for renewables in US power mix
GlobalData claims the move by Biden’s administration could improve the growth momentum for renewables in the US power mix, which currently holds about 20% clean energy capacity.
While renewables have performed well and continued to increase their stake year-on-year since 2016, this was in spite of Trump’s favourable policies towards fossil fuels, in his bid to make the US energy independent.
But that is all set to change under Biden, who placed a clean energy plan at the heart of his manifesto.
The president has earmarked a whopping $1.7tn for investment over the next 10 years into a “clean energy revolution”, which his administration claims will “revitalise the US energy sector”, boost growth economy-wide, and transform the country into a clean-energy “superpower”.
By 2030, GlobalData estimates the US’s share in renewables will reach about 45%. Solar photovoltaics (PV) and wind are likely to play a key role in the country’s power transition towards sustainability and carbon neutrality, and are likely to represent close to 35% of the capacity mix by 2030, according to the analytics firm.
It claims the development could be strengthened further through benefits brought about by the new pro-climate policy announcements and curbs on the carbon-intensive sectors.
Mathur said: “Rolling back climate-negative policies would mean greater growth impetus for the renewable energy sector to attain carbon neutrality for the power sector, and then for the US economy.
“However, hurdle-free acceptance and implementation of these climate-friendly policies and targets is the key to making up for lost time, while also attaining the optimistic target of restricting carbon emissions to net zero.”