Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump talked renewable energy yesterday on failed 2012 presidential candidate, Godfather Pizza founder and Atlanta-area radio host Herman Cain’s radio show.
Egged on by Cain, Trump spread his particular brand of disinformation about wind and solar energy, repeating his lie that wind power kills birds (especially fixating on supposed eagle-icide), how solar is “very expensive,” and neither wind nor solar are working on large scale.
As we are pv magazine, we’ll merely debunk his lies about solar here:
Clearly, Trump hasn’t read newspapers recently. Or magazines. Or watched the news. Frankly, it’s surprising he doesn’t read Fortune cover to cover. If he did, he would have seen an article in June with the headline “Solar Is Going to Get Ridiculously Cheap.”
Panel prices are dropping at what some see as an alarming rate, but on the plus side, it does encourage more installations in the United States. Solar paybacks are dropping (in some states it’s under 10 years), and the electricity produced is at grid-parity in 20 states.
In other words, solar is inexpensive and getting more so every day.
The editors of Forbes would be surprised to hear Trump’s assertion. After all, the magazine has run three articles since January extolling the virtues of solar energy, with headlines like “Why 2016 Will Be Solar’s Year Again” (which has proven true), “The Solar Story Is Just Beginning,” and, as recently as last month, “We Could Power The Entire World By Harnessing Solar Energy.”
We’re not sure you can get any larger scale than powering the entire world.
Here are some more facts Trump should consider the following information (courtesy of the Solar Energy Industries Association on utility-scale solar, the largest-scale solar projects in the United States:
In the first quarter of 2016, 1,665 megawatts (MW) of solar PV were installed in the United States with the solar industry adding more new capacity during this period than coal, natural gas and nuclear combined.
According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) U.S. Solar Market Insight, Q2 2016, the 1,665 MW accounted for 64 percent of all new electric generating capacity brought online in the first quarter of the year.
And the segment shows no signs of slowing down as we hurtle toward the end of 2016.
As Trump’s campaign limps its way home to Nov. 9 and with the prospect of electoral defeat staring him in the face, he is flailing. He continues to speak about renewable energy — and solar in particular — from a position of willful ignorance.
And whenever Trump spews his ill-informed lies, pv magazine will be here to debunk them.