The new head of Eurelectric, Kristian Ruby, says EU utilities will not be deterred from investment in renewable energy, if President Donald Trump decides to lower US climate goals.

In his campaign for president, Trump was critical of the Paris Climate accord, hastened through before the US election result, and indeed said he would pull his country out of the deal.

Trump has also asserted his aim to strengthen the country’s coal and gas industries.

“If the U.S. fundamentally changes course it will become an element of the debate in Europe,” Kristian Ruby, secretary general of Europe’s electricity industry association, told Reuters.

However, he said the falling cost of renewable sources such as wind and solar power and the needs of companies to spread their risk should lead to sustained investment in renewables.

While the Obama administration had led its heft to the clean energy revolution, no such support is expected from his successor and so EU chiefs are looking east.
Eurelectric
“We are also seeing some clear signals out of China that they will stay the course so we don’t see any need to rock the boat on this issue,” Ruby said.

Ruby said traditional energy generating methods such as coal would continue to play a role in Europe’s energy mix, even as renewables were set to rise to 50 percent by 2030.

“We care about emissions going down, rather than the actual split between those technologies,” Ruby said.

Eurelectric wants policymakers in Brussels to strengthen the bloc’s emission trading system (ETS).

EU lawmakers are due to vote next week on draft reforms of the market that will reduce the share of free carbon permits handed out after 2020 as part of an effort to fix oversupply in the market and boost prices.

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Q&A with Kristian Ruby, secretary-general of Eurelectric