Climate advocates seem to be largely upset with Donald Trump. His policies on things like climate change and the EPA have angered many, but this Bloomberg article points out an ironic fact. Despite Trump’s skepticism of climate change, he has been great for the renewable energy industry, especially solar. Despite pledging to take the US out of the Paris climate agreement as well as tumbling oil and gas prices, solar stocks have seen a big run up. The two key factors in rising prices have been state rule changes and equipment prices. Nevada has recently advanced legislation which should restart the industry in the state (Nevada gets the most sun of any state). Solar panel prices have been rising too as companies stock up ahead of what they fear with be a Trump-led tariff on imported equipment.
FINSUM: So Trump has not been supportive of renewable energy, yet his policies have had the effect of boosting the industry. Interesting unintended consequences. In a sense though, the whole situation is productive, as renewables will never truly flourish unless they are economically subsistent on their own merits without government support.
There is currently a great deal of hype surrounding the self-driving car market. The belief in forthcoming self-driving cars is currently disrupting the auto industry and seeing Silicon Valley become the capital of cars instead of Detroit. However, this Bloomberg article argues that the real future of autonomous vehicles may very well be in forklifts and other industrial equipment. This space is reportedly flying under the radar, but growing quickly, as automated service equipment has a potentially large market and has very good economics for both producers of the equipment and buyers.
FINSUM: The potential here seems massive. Beyond just forklifts and warehousing equipment, imagine all the luggage shuttles at the airports and the myriad other similar systems. Probably not good for workers and unions, but it is a big market.
After years of fighting, and a grand battle over the last 12 months, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned. He and his company have been embroiled in a fight over sexual harassment claims, misleading regulators, and a generally “toxic” culture that lacks restraint. Kalanick recently lost his mother in a tragic accident and was on indefinite leave. His investors, who have invested the most money ever in a Silicon Valley private startup, reportedly turned against him and put Kalanick under pressure to step down. He has acquiesced to their wishes, resigning his role as CEO, but will remain on the board.
FINSUM: Things at Uber had gotten so out of hand under Kalanick that it is hard to blame the investors for wanting a change. Hopefully this will turn out best for everyone.