With voting in the US elections almost over, much of the renewable energy industry is hoping for an Obama/Democrats win – and the financial markets are predicting the same. On the stock market, the whole solar sector has been trading higher as Barack Obama has been ahead of John McCain in recent polls.
While McCain (Republican) supports the development of renewable energy, including wind and solar, his energy plan does not outline any new federal spending in the area. Obama’s goals are for 10 percent of the USA’s power to come from renewable sources by 2012 and 25 percent by 2025. He aims to invest $150 billion in next 10 years on clean energy, funding much of the clean energy investments by selling tradeable carbon emission permits.
Even at this early stage, many investors in wind and solar power and anticipating a win for Obama and as a result, some clean tech company stocks are skyrocketing, even in the midst of the current financial crisis. Solar panel manufacturers including Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd and SunPower Corp have seen their shares increase over 50 percent in the past week.
A renewables friendly USA President would certainly have positive flow on effects for the rest of the world as increased investment in the renewable energy sector would translate to increased research and development and competition in pricing, resulting in cheaper and more efficient solar power and wind energy products for all. As an example, just based on the projected presidential outcome and renewed vigour in solar power investments, Suntech have recently decreased the wholesale cost of solar panels in the last few days, which had been steadily climbing throughout the industry due to unfavourable currency exchange and a jittery market.