It’s an unusual edition of “Cleantech Leader & Laggard Of The Week” this week. We’ve got a country to highlight, not exactly for breaking news but rather for long-term improvement that has made itself more evident this past week. And then we’ve got a rather famous (or infamous) person. Let’s start with the bad news first.
Donald Trump Attacks Electric Vehicles
There was a period of time when Donald Trump was all praise for Tesla CEO Elon Musk. However, as soon as Musk had some not nice things to say about Trump (that it was time to move past Trump and that kind of thing), Trump was all negative. Furthermore, Musk has gotten behind the person who currently appears to be Trump’s biggest challenge in the Republican primary for the 2024 presidential nomination — Ron DeSantis. (Reportedly, that’s because DeSantis is more moderate, but there’s a lot of evidence he’s not notably different from Trump in his extremism, and has even been more of an extremist on some topics. But that’s a topic for another day.) Now, this feud has taken a clear turn toward EV bashing.
Donald Trump has never been a supporter of clean technologies. He has long complained about wind turbines, energy-efficient appliances, low-flow water technologies, and LED bulbs. He pulled the US out of the Paris climate accords, which eventually led to the US being the only country in the world not signed on to the accords. And he tried to remove California’s right, which the state had since the Clean Air Act came to being, to set stricter air quality standards within its borders than in the country more broadly. With this feud between Trump and Musk now in bloom, Trump has taken to bashing electric vehicles, spreading misinformation about them, and saying that he’ll cancel all federal incentives for electric vehicles if he gets elected again. He also called Musk “another bullshit artist.”
Musk says, “It’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & sail into the sunset.” It’s long past time for that.
Spain Leads World In Solar Electricity
On to the good news. Looking into recent reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the most obvious story on the topic of solar power deployment around the world was that China is deploying massive amounts of solar power. However, when I found the charts on solar power deployment relative to overall electricity generation, I saw that China (around 6% of electricity coming from solar) was barely above the world average (and the US, second in total solar power deployments, was a little below average at 5%). The country that stood out above the rest was Spain.
Spain is nearly up to 20% of its electricity coming from solar power. It’s a couple of percentage points above #2 Greece and far above the global average of ~6%. This is the result of years of solar power deployment, of course, but this week seemed like a good one to highlight Spain’s leadership on that front. Also, on that front, a lot of it really comes down to the citizens of Spain. Policies have been a bit up and down over the years, but Spain’s people have pushed through the challenges and put Spain #1 in the world in this category.
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