by Daniel J. Graeber
San Diego (UPI) Jan 12, 2017
The U.S. Energy Department said experts would be on hand at a California summit to discuss solar power, less than two weeks after Donald Trump takes office.
Panelists at a California energy summit will be on hand to review solar developments in the United States on Jan. 30, ten days after Trump takes the oath of office as the next president.
Awardees of a funding program launched in early 2016 will be on hand to discuss "solutions that integrate solar PV with energy storage, utilize smart inverters, and work in conjunction with smart buildings, smart appliances, and utility communication and control systems," the department announced.
The federal government is supporting solar development through its SunShot initiative, which aims to make the renewable technology competitive. The program aims to move solar power capacity from less than 1 percent of the national electricity supply to 14 percent by 2020.
The summit come within Trump's first 100 days in office, when new administrations rush forward with policy initiatives laid out on the campaign trail. On energy, the Trump team has said it favored oil and natural gas development for the sake of the overall economy and security.
"Rather than continuing the current path to undermine and block America's fossil fuel producers, the Trump administration will encourage the production of these resources by opening onshore and offshore leasing on federal lands and waters," a transition policy statement reads.
Climate advocates said the momentum moving in support of a low-carbon economy can't be derailed by Trump despite his expected policies.
Michigan automaker General Motors, a target of the president-elect, in September set a goal of getting all of its power across its entire global sector of operations from renewable energy by 2050. GM said it was in the process of adding new solar arrays to facilities in China.
The International Energy Agency said growth for renewable energy through the end of the decade will come from strong policy support and lower costs for solar power and offshore wind resources, which combined for more than half of the new power that came online in 2015.
Regionally, the IEA said the United States was accountable for a good deal of its revised growth rate in part because of federal tax credits for solar and onshore wind energy. China, however, holds the lead in terms of renewable energy expansion.
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