Do you think the political priorities of U.S. President Donald Trump will be an obstacle for investments in renewable energy? If yes, to what extent?
He certainly seems less enthusiastic about clean energy than the previous U.S. President. Although he seems skeptical about climate change, there is still a high degree of confidence that the Production Tax Credit scheme will stay in place for projects until its currently scheduled “sunset” in 2020. Regulatory certainty is key for investors and there is a very good precedent in the United States of avoiding retroactive changes to tax incentive schemes. So, for projects that qualify for PTCs, there is still considerable confidence.
What seems likely after 2020 is that there may be no federal incentives for renewables, but many U.S. states are expected to seek continuation of the rollout of renewables. So we expect there will be schemes on a state-by-state basis to encourage development.
Will ACP continue to invest in clean energy in the United States after the recent changes in the political climate?
As long as the Production Tax Credit legislation is still in force, we hope to continue to make investments in the United States until 2020. Only time will tell what will happen after 2020, but we are confident about our investments, especially as the renewable energy sector in the United States is huge - creating lots of jobs and contributing to the growth of the economy.
The large ticket size of a typical wind project in the United States helps us to live up to our aspirations. From a standing start around 18 months ago, ACP has already invested tax equity in four wind farms in the country and benefited from the energy output of those wind farms, which have a combined generating capacity of over 900 megawatts.