In a speech on climate change delivered in Washington DC yesterday, Obama directed the interior department to give the green light to enough private, renewable energy capacity on public land to power more than six million homes.
He also announced that the defence department, the country's biggest energy consumer, will install 3GW of renewable power on its bases.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, the plans call for the construction of more than 11,000 wind turbines, assuming a 35% capacity factor and an average turbine size of 2MW.
The boost to the renewable sector is only part of a wide-ranging programme aiming to put the US on track to meet its commitment to cut carbon emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.
Obama fired a clear warning shot at the fossil fuel industry in his speech. "Because billions of your tax dollars continue to subsidise some of the most profitable corporations in the history of the world, my budget once again calls for Congress to end the tax breaks for big oil companies and invest in the clean-energy companies that will fuel our future," he said.
"Countries like China and Germany are going all out in the race for clean energy. I want America to win that race, but we can't win it if we're not in it."