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Expert Voices: AES Clean Energy's Leonardo Moreno

Alan Neuhauser
Jun 10, 2022
Photo illustration of Leonardo Moreno, president of AES Clean Energy and chair-elect of American Clean Power, with an abstract image of batteries, and a wind and solar power plant.
Photo illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios. Photo: courtesy of AES Clean Energy

This week we're talking with Leonardo Moreno, president of AES Clean Energy and chair-elect of American Clean Power.

Why he matters: Moreno holds top roles at one of the largest electric utilities in the world and the main U.S. trade association for renewable energy and its supply chain. Below are his emailed replies to our questions.

What in your view was the big story in clean energy/climate tech this week?

President Biden taking action to protect the U.S. renewables industry from being paralyzed by the possibility of impending tariffs levied by Auxin’s anti-Circumvention petition and advance domestic manufacturing in the U.S.

  • This trade case was a blatant attempt at rent-seeking and price gouging. We were facing the threat of losing tens of thousands of jobs in the solar industry, and had 22 GW of projects at risk of not being built in the U.S. due to this trade case. 

What would you add to the narrative?

With President Biden’s bridge in place, the industry will mobilize to ensure that we are on the path to develop a competitive solar manufacturing industry domestically. 

  • To do so, we need the appropriate mechanisms in place, incentives as opposed to punitive tariffs. The importance of clean energy tax credits in forging a path to bring components to the U.S. cannot be understated.

What's being under-covered or under-noticed?

How critical renewables are to achieve energy independence for the U.S. In the wake of Russia’s provocation [in Ukraine], the price of refined oil products in the U.S. reached levels not seen in the past several decades.

  • Renewables are the only way to achieve full energy independence: renewable energy uses resources that are fully local and have no cost — solar, wind — and these resources produce long-term energy at a low cost and without any price volatility, providing full national independence.

In three-ish words, what would you do or change to accelerate investment in clean energy and climate tech?

Remove barriers for renewables build-out: interconnection, permitting, siting.

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