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Obama’s New Goals for Renewable Energy

Thursday, January 16, 2014

President Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama has been showing strong leadership around renewable energy recently. In December, he ordered the U.S. government to almost triple its renewables use in the next six years, and, last week, he instituted a comprehensive review of the nation’s energy infrastructure to happen every four years.

The directive Obama made last month requires each federal agency to make renewable energy—be it solar, wind, hydro-electric, or otherwise—20% of the government’s energy supply by 2020.

“In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our Nation’s prosperity, promote energy security, combat climate change, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the Federal Government must lead by example,” wrote Obama in a memorandum.

The memo laid out a plan for scaling up to no less than 10% renewable energy by 2015, 15% by 2016, 17.5% by 2018, and 20% thereafter.

A previous directive, issued in 2005, mandated that renewables account for 7.5 percent by 2013, which a White House spokeswoman said the government is on track to accomplish, according to The Washington Post.

Obama’s plan mirrors the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), which sets a goal of reaching 70% clean energy by 2030, 40% of which would come from locally generated clean energy sources.

Last week, Obama also ordered a quadrennial study of the country’s energy infrastructure in order to “identify opportunities and challenges in advance by studying U.S. energy supply, markets and infrastructure, plus potential threats like cyber threats and climate change,” reported the Associated Press. The first report, with recommendations, would be due January 31, 2015.

Solar energy promises to play a big part in reaching these goals. Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, responded to the news by saying, “As the fastest growing energy source in the U.S. today, as well as our nation’s most abundant energy resource, solar—both centralized and distributed—will influence the structure of our grid, while combating climate change, enhancing emergency preparedness, creating new jobs and boosting our economy.”

These bold plans are exciting to hear from our president and set a great example for the country. We’re looking forward to helping the government reach the goal of bolstering its renewable energy use through solar-generated power.

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