It’s election year and that can only mean one thing – the standing President doing everything he can to show the country he’s the man for a second term. In President Obama‘s case, he’s doing this by fast-tracking 5GW of renewable energy projects in order to create jobs, boost the economy and decrease reliance on fossil fuels. The plan is part of the president’s We Can’t Wait initiative, and it will see the rapid construction of seven nationally and regionally significant solar and wind energy projects in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Wyoming. It is hoped that these job-creating infrastructure projects will produce nearly 5,000 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, which is enough to power approximately 1.5 million homes.
The Office of Management and Budget has been charged with overseeing the large-scale projects in a bid to make the permitting and review process for infrastructure projects more efficient and effective, saving time while driving better outcomes for the environment and local communities.
“As part of President Obama’s all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy, we are working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “These seven proposed solar and wind projects have great potential to grow our nation’s energy independence, drive job creation, and power economies across the west.”
Compared to current Republican candidate Mitt Romney, President Obama’s green credentials are positively glowing, and the announcement of these new renewable energy projects will build upon his current record of success in permitting an unprecedented number of utility-scale renewable energy projects.
According to the Department of the Interior, over the past three years, more utility-scale renewable energy projects have been approved for construction on public lands than in the past two decades combined – a total of 31 new projects. When finished, these projects are expected to generate enough renewable energy to power 2.3 million American homes.
It’s a start – here’s hoping the President gets another four more years to increase this figure!