Solar power has an ardent new supporter, Hillary Clinton. In Iowa as the 2016 campaign season warms up she has introduced the outlines of an ambitious energy plan that would get the U.S. to 33 percent renewable energy by 2020 by in part installing 700 million more solar panels across the US.
Clinton wants to take on climate change via energy choices. “You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act,” she said on her site. “Climate change is an urgent challenge that threatens all of us. The United States is already taking steps to invest in our clean energy future, but we need to do more. We need to take bold action to combat climate change, create jobs, protect the health of American families and communities, and make the United States the world’s clean energy superpower.”
“I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency,” Clinton stated at an Iowa State University rally this weekend. “And I’ve got to tell you, people who argue against this are just not paying attention.”
Her campaign outlined in broad strokes how she would enact two goals to fight climate change, the 700 million installed solar panels by 2020 and generating enough renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of Clinton taking office.
The campaign anticipated reaching a goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020. That's a lot higher than even Obama has proposed for the whole country despite his efforts to conitnually expand federal use of renewable energy. Further it envisioned reaching deep emissions reductions by 2050. It said doing so would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks annually.
Reaching her goals will require a steady increase in more clean energy. “The U.S. would have to install about 2.5 times as much solar during her first term as it has in all of its history before that. So that’s a ton of growth,” Shayle Kann, senior vice president at GTM Research told US News and World Report. “That said, the growth rate is more or less in line with what we’re seeing now.”
The Clinton campaign also said the goals would be a bottom goal and not the ceiling. “Hillary will also launch a Clean Energy Challenge that will form a new partnership with states, cities, and rural communities that are ready to lead.”
To enact greater climate change reform by installing more renewable energy Clinton will have to use incentives like the investment tax credit (ITC) and others to help continue growth in the sector. Currently the ITC is set to expire for most uses in 2016 and other incentives like the production tax credit, which helped expand the use of wind farms, also is set to sunset completely.Tweet