Presumptive presidential candidate Joe Biden lays out clean energy plan; industry applauds

Yesterday in a speech given in Wilmington, Delaware, American former Vice President Joe Biden laid out his plan for a clean energy future should he be elected as U.S. President in November.

The plan includes a 2 trillion (with a T!) “accelerated investment” in infrastructure and clean energy in order to create jobs and work on the climate crisis.

“In my first four years, we’re going to give four million buildings all across this country the same energy makeover that you get here at Chase, the Chase Center. It’s going to create at least one million jobs in construction, engineering, and manufacturing in order to get it done. It’s going to make places, the places where we work, we live, we learn healthier, improving indoor air quality and water quality,” he said in his speech.

He also mentioned a network of 500,000 charging stations along highways; offering cash rebates to families to perform energy efficiency upgrades; rebates to purchase EVs; and a vision for a decarbonized electricity sector by 2035 and zero emissions for the whole country by 2050.

Biden’s plan also includes continuing to leverage the carbon-pollution free energy provided by existing sources like nuclear and hydropower, while ensuring those facilities meet robust and rigorous standards for worker, public, environmental safety and environmental justice.

“We know how to do this. Our administration rescued the auto industry and helped it retool, made solar energy the same cost as traditional energy, weatherized more than a million homes. And we’ll do it again, but this time bigger, and faster, and smarter,” he said.

The transcript of the speech is here.

Industry responds

Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association said that AWEA applauds the plan.

“As our country strives to recover from the global pandemic, racial injustices, and economic recession, this is the right moment to grow the investments and good-paying American jobs associated with renewable energy development, including the significant economic benefits, lower cost electricity bills, and diverse community support that wind energy brings to rural parts of the country,” he said.

“The American wind industry is prepared to rapidly grow its 120,000-person workforce to help our country achieve a 100% carbon-free electric grid by 2035, leading the way as other sectors of the economy begin to rely more and more on clean, affordable electricity to power businesses and communities,” he added.

Gina McCarthy, president, and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund, issued the following statement:

“Joe Biden’s climate plan–by a long shot–is the most ambitious we have ever seen from any president in our nation’s history. It will get our economy humming again, and give our children a healthier, more just and more hopeful future. And he has committed to getting started on day one. 

 “This plan is the result of Biden listening to concerned people across this country and taking action. He brought together climate leaders young and old, with varying perspectives and asked them to unite around a path forward to combat the climate crisis, quickly. He brought environmental justice groups to the table and made sure equity was a core consideration. This is the kind of leadership we need in the face of a challenge of this scale. And it shows exactly why we need to make sure Joe Biden is our next president–for our children, for our planet and for our future.”

Advanced Energy Economy’s CEO Nat Kreamer, said:

“Advanced energy has exceeded overall U.S. economic growth over the past decade and is poised to drive our nation’s coronavirus comeback. With the support of federal policies like a 100% clean energy target and incentives for domestic manufacturing and electric vehicles, advanced energy, with 3.6 million U.S. workers going into the pandemic, can deliver a million more good-paying jobs, attract billions in private investment, expand domestic production, and improve our nation’s electric infrastructure. 

“Let’s build back better with solar, wind, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric vehicles, and a modern power grid. We can do all this, reduce emissions, improve grid reliability and reduce customer costs for decades to come.”


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