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Stocks of wind and solar companies plunged in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory in the November election. What does that tell us about the viability of these companies absent government support? It tells me how dependent wind and solar power companies are on continued government largesse. Despite decades of government subsidies, mandates, and support, electricity generated by wind and solar power companies is still more expensive than that produced by conventional fuels like coal, nuclear, hydro, and natural gas.
Shares of the nation’s largest maker of solar panels, First Solar, fell 6.5 percent the day after the election and shares of another large solar power manufacturer, SunPower, dropped approximately 18 percent. Stocks in the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturer, Vestas Wind Systems, fell as much as 14 percent in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s election before settling 6.6 percent lower at the close of business. About 41.3 percent of Vestas’ revenue comes from the Americas.
Based on his public statements, stock market analysts expect a Trump administration to take steps to expand the use of fossil fuels and deemphasize renewable power.