In an effort to make the U.S. Clean Energy Infrastructure that, by itself, would rank as one of the most ambitious, President Joe Biden unveiled a sprawling and ambitious infrastructure plan. Apart from big infrastructure fixes, initiatives like lower the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, providing better Internet connections, increase the quality of water, and the physical makeup of public schools were included in the package.
During the eight years as Vice President, Joe Biden administered a “green jobs” stimulus package. Now, he is again releasing a new plan that would use government spending to unite the goals of fighting climate change and restoring the economy.
This time around the plan would be with more money and more demand for clean technology, the situation will be different. “When you invest in innovation sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But you learn from the losses more often than you do from the wins, just like any human, right?”, said Jennifer Granholm, United States Secretary of Energy. She will oversee the same clean energy loan program that backed Fisker and Solyndra that then went bankrupt.
President Biden’s recently announced $2 trillion infrastructure investment package also incorporates a proposed 10-year extension of the ITC and PTC. The package intended to create millions of jobs, rebuild the country’s infrastructure, and also accelerate the fight against climate change by hastening the shift to new, cleaner energy sources.
Besides extending the investment tax credit, spending on research and development in cutting-edge clean energy technology, electric vehicles, update and modernize the electric grid are also included. Here is how the money would be spent to tackle climate change:
- Electric Vehicle Market: Proposes to spend about $174 billion (28% of entire transportation portion) on electrical vehicles. That includes construction of around 500,000 EV Stations, offering rebates in the form of tax credits and incentives on manufacturing and purchase of electric cars, using EVs in bus fleets, and interestingly replacing the entire federal government’s fleet with EVs. Additional $46 billion for government agencies to buy fleets of EVs.
- Reenergize the Electric Grid: As the recent Texas power outages demonstrated, our aging electric grid needs urgent modernization. Hence, the proposed plan reserves $100 billion to update and modernize the electric grid.
- Environmental damage by oil and gas wells: Hundreds of thousands of former orphan oil and gas wells and abandoned mines pose serious safety hazards, while also causing ongoing air, water, and other environmental damage. Thus, an immediate up-front investment of $16 billion for restoring abandoned coal, hardrock, and uranium mines to reduce the change of methane and brine leaks from these wells.
- Research & Development: The plan would spend $180 billion on new research and development with an emphasis on clean energy, fewer emissions and climate change research.
Through his actions, Biden has made at least one thing very clear; he wants to position America as the global leader in clean energy technology and clean energy jobs. Put simply, “these are investments we have to make,” Biden said. “Put another way, we can’t afford not to.”
The solar industry and broader clean tech sector greeted the proposal.