It’s not just scientists having to reconcile the world’s most powerful person appearing to deny mankind’s impact on climate change, an entire financial industry has developed in recent years to advance renewable energy.
In countries where governments are unable to afford the switch to wind farms or solar, investors have teamed up with NGOs to create project financing structures. One company that’s been at the forefront of the clean energy industry is the Canadian firm JCM Power, which has developed over 70 renewable energy projects, and is currently working on building the first large scale solar plants for Africa, as well as Latin America. I spoke with the company’s co-Founder and Chief Executive, Christian Wray.
How has your world changed since Nov. 9?
Like most people, that my world is full of new uncertainties. While I certainly have deep personal concerns, it is not yet clear to me how the election will impact my professional interests. We have been monitoring very closely a number of areas that could be impacted by the election, and those include the cost of financing. There’s also the issue of trade protectionism and questions over the ongoing existence of some of the government agencies out of the US that support development in emerging markets.
You work with a number of agencies, such as US Aid and Power Africa. Do you fear that some of these partner agencies will have difficulty finding future funding, or perhaps even surviving?
I certainly do. I think this is probably the greatest area of concern for me. Right now, it’s too early to tell what the impact of the Trump presidency will be, whether they’ll lose their funding or whether they’ll be dismantled entirely. Fortunately for us, we do work with a number of other development banks, many of them based out of Europe, so we’ll be able to continue our business. In some cases, these agencies are created to advance US economic interests. A good example of this is US EXIM bank, which typically supports companies that are manufacturing in the US in selling their products abroad. I’d consider it a shame for them to be shut down when they’re actually advancing many of the causes that I think any president would want to be mindful of.
Two of your eight core projects are based in Mexico; we’ve seen peso plunge. How are your projects affected?
We are fortunate that we typically do not contract projects in Mexico using pesos. For a company that raises US dollars and invests those dollars into Mexico and generates a revenue stream using dollars, right now, there’s no major impact. But the cost of financing we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on.
To listen to my interview with Christian Wray, click on the link below: https://audioboom.com/posts/5287407-emerging-opportunities-solar-energy-under-trump-s-shadow