Each state has been given a target to reduce climate emissions from power plants. The states are to create custom plans for reaching their goal, such as forming regional cap-and-trade programmes.
States must submit preliminary versions of their strategy by 2016 and final versions by 2018. They have until 2022 to comply.
The rules should enable the US to slash emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030, said the White House, rather than the 30% that Obama proposed in June 2014.
If the plan is implemented, by 2030 renewables should account for 28% of electricity generating capacity, up from 22% in the previous proposal, and up from 13% last year.
According to the White House, the plan — in advance of the COP21 climate talks in Paris in December — should help lower the cost of renewables.
But even if the plan survives legal challenges and Obama leaving office in 2017, its benefits are longer-term.
Vestas American Wind Technology president Chris Brown said: "It's not something that will alter our market potential in the short run but if the plan is adopted, it will create a more stable US market for renewable energy in the long run."