RENEWABLE ENERGY

Trump's Beef with German Wind Power

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    As president, Donald Trump could take measures to make the U.S. market less favorable to wind energy, which could hurt German companies like Siemens.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • U.S. president-elect Donald Trump is a long-time opponent of wind farms, arguing that they endanger wildlife and property value.
    • In 2013, Mr. Trump sued to prevent an off-shore wind park from being built near his golf course in Scotland.
    • In an interview with the New York Times, Mr. Trump complained that German companies play a leading role in manufacturing wind turbines.
  • Audio

    Audio

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People show their support as Donald Trump speaks in Charleston
Donald Trump has promised to revive the coal industry. German-built wind farms could suffer as a result. Source: Reuters

Donald Trump has a beef with wind turbines. They kill too many birds and they’re subsidized by the state, the U.S. president-elect told the New York Times in an interview this week. But there’s another reason he dislikes wind turbines, one that’s in keeping with the reality television star’s protectionist worldview.

“First of all, we don’t make the windmills in the United States,” Mr. Trump told the New York Times. “They’re made in Germany and Japan.”

Thomas Friedman, an editor with the newspaper, reminded the president-elect that General Electric, the U.S. engineering giant, also manufactures wind turbines in South Carolina.

“Well that’s good,” Mr. Trump responded. “But most of them are made in Germany, most of them are made, you know, Siemens and the Chinese are making most of them.”

That may be true: Germany is indeed one of world’s the leading manufacturers of wind turbines, and the United States remains its most attractive market. But companies like Siemens aren’t just exporting wind technology – they’re also investing in America domestically.

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