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How the 2024 Election Could Reshape America’s Energy Landscape

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Wood Mackenzie predicts that if Donald Trump wins the U.S. presidential election this November, the situation regarding the U.S.’s transition to electric and renewable energy could significantly change. It is estimated that $1 trillion in clean energy investment could be at risk due to policy changes that might occur under a second Trump administration. Former President Trump, a climate skeptic, stated that expanding U.S. production of fossil fuels, a major cause of carbon emissions and global warming, is the top priority for energy.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill and inflation reduction law of the Biden administration have prompted unprecedented public and private investment in clean energy. They have dramatically expanded solar and wind power projects. Billions of dollars are being spent to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, vehicles, farms, and factories by expanding battery production in the United States and encouraging the development of geothermal, clean hydrogen, and next-generation nuclear projects. Under the current policy path, hundreds of billions more could be spent over the next several decades to achieve a carbon-neutral economy.

However, this election cycle will have a significant impact on the pace of energy investment between now and 2050, said David Brown, Director of Energy Transition Research at Wood Mackenzie. He argued that investment in low-carbon supply must be made in the short term to achieve long-term decarbonization goals. He also pointed out that U.S. carbon emissions could increase and that it may not be possible to achieve net zero in a delayed transition scenario.

At the same time, Biden’s plan to significantly increase tariffs on Chinese-made electric cars, batteries, and battery materials could have the unintended effect of inflating the cost of electric vehicles for U.S. consumers, potentially slowing the transition to zero-emission cars and trucks.

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