Vestas expects major wind investments despite U.S. climate deal exit

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Wind energy will still attract major investment in the United States and around the world despite President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the global climate accord, top wind turbine maker Vestas predicted on Friday.

With the help of tax credits, wind energy surpassed hydropower as the biggest source of renewable electricity in the U.S. during former President Barack Obama’s administration, and the cost of output has steadily declined as technology evolved.

“Of course, it would be better if the U.S. were to stay in the Paris Agreement as is,” Vestas spokesman Morten Dyrholm said in a statement.

“But there does remain broad support for the agreement internationally, and wind energy continues attracting major investments globally and in the U.S. because it makes economic sense,” he added.

Vestas supplied 43 percent of the 8.2 GW of wind power capacity connected to the U.S. power grid last year, according to the American Wind Energy Association. That was up from 33 percent in 2015 and just 12 percent in 2014.

Vestas’ shares traded 2.2 percent lower at 0834 GMT, underperforming a 0.7 percent rise in the Danish benchmark index.

Trump, tapping into the “America First” message he used when he was elected president last year, said the Paris accord would undermine the U.S. economy, cost U.S. jobs, weaken American national sovereignty and put the country at a permanent disadvantage to other countries.

Editing by Terje Solsvik/Keith Weir