Today (June 29) at the North America Leader’s Summit the Three Amigos (President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto) announced that their countries will source 50 percent of their power from clean sources by 2025 under the new North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership Action Plan. The plan will increase the amount of renewable energy deployed in each country and create opportunities to allow for more cross-border electric transmission. The action plan was made to help the countries meet their promises under the Paris climate summit last year, which they ratified on Earth Day this year.
“We will accomplish this goal through clean energy development and deployment, clean energy innovation and energy efficiency,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “Together, we estimate that the development of current and future projects and policies to achieve this goal will create thousands of clean jobs and support of our vision for a clean growth economy.”
The countries are looking at, among other things cross-border transmission projects. “At least six transmission lines currently proposed or in permitting review, such as the Great Northern Transmission Line, the New England Clean Power Link, and the Nogales Interconnection, would add approximately 5,000 megawatts of new cross-border transmission capacity,” according to the joint statement.
“These efforts will not only reduce the impacts of climate change and help all three countries meet their commitments under the Paris agreement, but they will also provide important benefits for the economy as a whole and support hundreds of thousands of jobs,” wrote Jason Furman, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers for the White House and Brian Deese, a senior advisor to the President in an economic analysis of the plan. “We project that jobs supported by the clean energy (hydro and non-hydro renewables and nuclear), energy efficiency, and new transmission sectors of the economy will continue to rapidly grow: from under 700,000 today to over one million jobs supported on average through 2025,” they added.
“We applaud this historical and attainable set of clean energy commitments. Together they represent a significant growth opportunity for solar energy across the continent,” said Tom Kimbis, acting president of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), of the announcement. He added that the cross border transmission lines will open the door to more inexpensive utility scale solar projects.
“The General Services Administration’s 100 percent clean energy commitment means that solar will be increasingly deployed across all 50 states to power our federal infrastructure,” Kimbis added. “These commitments can only be accomplished because the cost of solar has dropped 70 percent in the last eight years, bringing cost savings and cleaner air and water to all North Americans.”Tweet