with your reference climate legislation at risk, the Biden administration announced a series of new executive actions to accelerate the US transition to a clean energy grid. On Wednesday, the White House said it would allocate billions to projects that lead to the construction of more wind, solar and geothermal energy across the country.
Specifically, the administration announced that it is moving forward with the lease of six commercial areas off the coasts of New York and New Jersey for use in wind farm projects. The offer is for more than 488,000 acres of ocean floor for winning bidders to build an estimated clean power generation of 5.6 and 7 gigawatts. As part of the bidding process, the White House says it will encourage participants to support jobs and purchase turbine components from US manufacturers. The New York Bight development is one of the main pillars of the Biden administration’s plan to build 30 gigawatts of offshore wind production by 2030.
Another significant facet of today’s announcement is the “Building a Better Grid” initiative. Taking from the $65 billion Congress set aside for power grid upgrades when it was passed by President Biden Law on Employment and Investments in Infrastructure, the initiative allocates US$ 2.5 billion to finance the installation of new transmission lines. It is investing another $3 billion in expanding the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, which supports projects that increase the capacity and flexibility of existing electrical infrastructure.
The government notes that it will also allocate $10 billion in grants to states, tribes and utility companies to help these groups strengthen their local transmission lines. Together, the investments will help modernize the country’s electricity grid, making it easier to transport renewable energy from remote generation sites to where it is most needed. It will also strengthen the power grid against the types of extreme weather events that have become more common as the effects of climate change have worsened.
Today’s announcement sees the White House coming up with a significant climate policy, but if the Biden administration has a chance to deliver on the president’s ambitious goal of decarbonize the country’s electricity grid by 2035, will have to circumvent the legislative impasse that left the Build a better back structure in limbo. Much of that will depend on whether the White House can convince Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia to support the roughly $1.75 trillion social and climate spending bill.
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