World’s Biggest Wind-Turbine Maker Falls as Trump Drops Paris

Source: By Christian Wienberg, Bloomberg • Posted: Friday, June 2, 2017

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, dropped to its lowest in 1 1/2 months after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate accord threw into doubt the future of renewable energy.

Vestas fell as much as 2.8 percent, and traded 2.2 percent lower at 572 kroner as of 10:32 a.m. in Copenhagen. It was the worst performing stock on the Copenhagen benchmark index of Denmark’s most traded companies, and was among the biggest losers in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, which was up about 0.6 percent overall.

Trump said late on Thursday he would pull the world’s biggest economy out of the Paris climate pact, arguing it puts American workers at a disadvantage. His announcement instantly drew severe criticism from leaders across the globe, with Nordic politicians, in particular, condemning the move. In Denmark, where Vestas is based, Energy Minister Lars Chr. Lilleholt says he’s planning a trip to the U.S. in the fall in an effort to promote renewable energy at the state level, “regardless” what Washington D.C. decides.

“Of course it would be better if the U.S. were to stay in the Paris Agreement,” Morten Dyrholm, Vestas senior VP marketing, communications and public affairs, said in an emailed comment to Bloomberg.

Vestas derives about 40 percent of its revenue from the Americas. Shares in the company plunged after it was clear that Trump, who has lashed out against wind turbine technology in the past, was the winner of the U.S. election in November.

Vestas said a withdrawal from the climate pact makes little economic sense.

“The U.S. wind industry has broad bipartisan support because it is cost-effective and provides strong returns for investors,” Dyrholm said. Wind is “the lowest-cost energy source in many parts of the country; it’s compatible with farming, ranching, and hunting; it uses no water; it supports more than 100,000 jobs in 50 states, and it brings billions of dollars in economic development to the communities that host the projects.”

Trump, who famously called climate change a “hoax” cooked up by the Chinese, campaigned on a pledge to support coal instead of renewable energy. In his speech on Thursday, he wants to “start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal.”

Withdrawal from the pact puts the U.S. in league with just two other nations — Syria and Nicaragua — that are not participating in the agreement.