It is hard to cast last week’s election of Donald Trump as the next president as anything but bad news for solar. If there is any saving grace, it is that with each year federal support becomes less important, and that most of the driving policies for solar in the United States are at the state level.
That being said, the signs do not look good. Trump has appointed utility and fossil fuel lobbyist Mike McKenna to handle the transition team at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), where insiders who pv magazine spoke with report concern for the future of the SunShot Initiative.
But despite Koch Brothers lobbyists openly prowling the corridors of DOE, today the agency reminded us that the federal government is still under the control of President Obama, and came out with all guns firing on clean energy support programs. This includes announcing $124 million in funding for solar projects in El Salvador and India through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a major expansion of Mission Innovation, and a host of other projects.
Of the $124 million, $50 million will go to support eight utility-scale solar projects in El Salvador. The other $74 million will fund a 100 MW utility-scale solar project in the new Indian state of Telangana, as part of a $250 million facility in collaboration with ReNew Power Ventures to support up to 400 MW of new solar in multiple Indian states.
A press release by OPIC notes that the commitment for the project funding and the facility was signed at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Morocco.