When the Trump Administration shuts down solar energy in Portland
President Donald Trump’s Department of Energy announced that it will not permit the construction of solar power plants in Portland.
Trump’s decision comes at a time when solar power has been in decline in the United States.
Last year, the state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) was lowered from 50% to 25%, and that reduced the number of solar energy projects in Oregon from 14 to five.
Oregon has had no solar power on its grid since the end of May.
The governor of Oregon, Kate Brown, has pledged to continue to invest in solar, even though it is an expensive technology.
“We have not seen any reduction in our state’s total solar capacity, and I am confident that we will continue to grow our solar industry as it grows in Oregon,” Brown said during a press conference.
Governor Brown and other leaders in the state are calling for Trump’s administration to take action.
“The president has the ability to protect our solar power, but the fact is, it’s going to take a lot of resources to keep it on the grid,” Brown told the Portland Press Herald.
“He can’t just shut down the grid, but it’s up to him to take it off.”
Solar energy projects have been coming to the Portland area for years, but Trump has made a number of other decisions that have put solar power out of business in the city.
Trump has repeatedly announced his intention to build a wall on the US-Mexico border, cut funding to environmental groups, and cut funding for programs that help people with disabilities and low-income residents.
The state has had to cut back on the number and types of solar projects in Portland, but with Trump at the helm, many are not expecting the same fate.
“It’s going be a bit like we had with coal, right?” said Alex St. Martin, the founder and CEO of solar panel manufacturer Bowers Solar.
“I think it will be a different story.”
He added, “I have no doubt in my mind that they are going to see a lot more cancellations.”