During his annual State of the Union Address on January 25, 2012, President Obama called for an American commitment to innovation and advanced, clean energy.
President Obama has laid out a Blueprint for an energy strategy which relies on “American-made energy and the skills of American workers”.
Implementing a clean energy standard: The centerpiece of President Obama’s plan to develop and use more clean energy calls for establishing a “clean energy standard,” which would require utility companies to produce a larger percentage of their electricity from clean energy sources over time –including renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, and nuclear, among others. With this requirement in place, clean sources would account for 80 percent of our electricity by 2035. Besides reducing carbon emissions, implementing a standard would create a larger domestic market for developing new, innovative energy technologies—and the many jobs that would come along with it.
Targeted tax incentives: To further support a growing clean energy industry, President Obama’s Blueprint calls for renewing and extending a number of already successful tax incentives. This includes tax incentives for clean energy manufacturing, which could create up to 100,000 jobs, and the Production Tax Credit to support investment in the deployment of clean energy technologies.
Opening public lands: Developing the new technologies we need is only one part of the clean energy equation. The other part requires putting the new technologies to use. To answer this call, the Department of the Interior has committed to issuing permits on public lands that will enable the generation of 10 gigawatts of renewable generation capacity – enough to power 3 million homes.
Powering the U.S. military with renewable energy: Just because Congress hasn’t moved forward with establishing a clean energy economy doesn’t prevent all progress toward using more renewable energy. To this end, President Obama announced that the Department of the Navy will make a 1 gigawatt renewable energy purchase—the largest purchase of its kind in history, and enough energy to power 250,000 homes.
Additionally, the Air Force is installing solar panels on its bases and developing cleaner, more efficient ways to fuel the military’s aircraft. In 2010, the Air Force flew an A-10 Thunderbolt entirely on alternative fuels, a first for the military.