Trump is projected to handily win tonight’s caucus, but his stance on solar is in opposition to most Nevada voters. Throughout 2011 and 2012, Trump expressed his discontent with Obama’s investment in renewable energy, calling it a “big government scheme.”
Trump also spoke against solar—and the form of renewable energy he vilifies most, wind—on Fox News in 2013. “Right now, green energy is way behind the times. You look at the windmills that are destroying shorelines all over the world. Economically, they’re not good. It’s a very, very poor form of energy. Solar, as you know, hasn’t caught on because, I mean, a solar panel takes 32 years—it’s a 32-year payback. Who wants a 32-year payback? The fact is, the technology is not there yet. Wind farms are hurting the country.”
In April of last year, a study conducted at the request of the Alliance for Solar Choice found 69 percent of likely Republican voters in Nevada would not vote for a candidate interested in decreasing solar use in the state, while 84 percent of the state’s likely voters are pro-solar. In January, Nevada’s once booming solar industry was made basically obsolete after new regulations removed incentives for consumers and more than doubled the fees customers pay to utilities. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton addressed the issue prior to their party’s caucus, but Republicans have been largely silent.