With Joe Biden set to take over occupation of the White House next January, the US clean energy industry is looking forward to a massive burst of activity, provided the new US President stands by his promise to ‘green’ America through his Build Back Better Plan.
It is still unclear if the Democrats will gain control of the Senate and so be in a position to push through their Green New Deal package of legislation that was designed to address both climate change and economic inequality, Biden’s plan will, nevertheless still give a boost to the US clean energy sector. Its main points commit the Democrats to:
- Rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband. This, he said in his manifesto, would lay a new foundation for sustainable growth, help the US compete in the global economy, withstand the impacts of climate change and improve public health, including access to clean air and clean water
- Create one million new jobs in America’s auto industry, its domestic supply chains and infrastructure, including electric vehicles and EV charging stations
- Provide every American city with 100,000 or more residents with high-quality, zero-emissions public transportation options through flexible federal investments with strong labor protections that create good, union jobs and meet the needs of those cities, ranging from light rail networks to improving existing transit and bus lines to installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists
- The US clean energy sector will be particularly heartened by his plans to generate clean, American-made electricity and to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035
- Upgrade four million buildings and weather-proof two million homes over four years and encourage the refitting of the built environment by funding direct cash rebates and low-cost financing for the upgrade of home appliances and the installation more efficient windows
- Encourage the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and housing units
- Drive dramatic cost reductions in critical US clean energy technologies, including battery storage, negative emissions technologies, the next generation of building materials, renewable hydrogen, and advanced nuclear power
- Create jobs in climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation, including 250,000 jobs plugging abandoned oil and natural gas wells and reclaiming abandoned coal, hard-rock and uranium mines, reducing leakage of toxics, and preventing local environmental damage.