*Americans fought bitterly over a number of divisive issues during the 2016 presidential election, but one major issue was almost completely ignored: climate change. Now that Donald Trump has been elected president, what will happen to the country’s tentative plans to mitigate the effects of global warming?
President Elect Donald Trump has vowed to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and erase restrictions on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. As the world’s second-largest producer of greenhouse gases, the effects on the environment could be huge. As a matter of official policy, both Donald Trump and the Republican Party deny that humans cause climate change, and some conservative leaders believe the entire concept of global warming is an elaborate hoax.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
Yet for environmental activists, there are still signs of hope. The alternative energy industry has been thriving, and the price of solar panels has been falling as the technology improves. But will it be enough to address climate change in a serious way?
The Future of Green Energy in the United States:
It’s becoming more and more popular for homeowners and businesses alike to implement environmentally responsible practices in order to reduce their carbon footprint. But these methods can save some green in another way, giving businesses a financial incentive to reduce energy use. For instance, having a cool metal roof — which lasts for up to 50 years and is completely recyclable at the end of its life — instead of one made of traditional materials can reduce energy and cooling costs by up to 20% and reduce peak cooling demand by up to 15%.
Some owners like to take it a step further and equip their rooftops with solar energy panels. People who opt to use solar panels on their roofs can save an average of $84 every month on their electricity bills. They also can be secure in the knowledge that they’re using an optimal energy source and not contributing to harmful emissions in our atmosphere.
Up until the present date, the utilization of solar power has been limited to the panels that could be placed on a roof’s surface. This has posed limitations for some businesses in high-rises and homeowners who want to get more out of their home solar systems.
But now, the on-going marriage between Tesla Motors, Inc. and SolarCity may soon provide an exciting solution for developers and fans of alternate energy sources. Tesla’s founder and chief executive, Elon Musk, recently announced SolarCity’s plans to release a roof with solar panels built right in. This solar roof would be the first of its kind on the market and could lead to more building materials equipped with this type of technology.
Musk, who is also the co-founder and chairman of SolarCity, says that the company hopes to launch two new products this year, one of which will presumably be the solar roof. Few details have been released, but there were rumors that the product — or at least, additional information pertaining to it — would be revealed before the end of October.
Still, solar fans are abuzz with speculation about what this new release could mean. Musk has expressed his dissatisfaction with conventional panels that are affixed to roofs using mounting systems. Not only would an integrated solar roofing system allow for more efficient energy consumption, but homes that use the system would acquire a higher resale value due to the system’s aesthetic appeal.
“It’s a solar roof, as opposed to a module on a roof,” explains Musk. “It’s something that will be a standout.” This type of streamlined, appealing technology could lead to further developments in other kinds of energy-efficient building materials like shingles and windows.
Although October 28th was previously mentioned as a date to watch for additional information, nothing has officially been scheduled for release. But given the fact that there are solar roofing technologies currently in development from other solar-based companies like Solaria, ArteZanos, Atlantis Energy, SunTegra Solar, and more, we’ll certainly be keeping our eyes peeled in the coming months.
With Donald Trump’s positions on climate change and the oil and gas industry causing solar stocks to plummet, the solar industry is waiting on Musk and SolarCity to deliver something big.