'Tens of thousands of turbines': Biden looks to wind for green deal

The Democrats' presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has unveiled a $2 trillion package of clean energy and sustainability measures to decarbonise the US power sector by 2035 ahead of the country’s election in November.

Joe Biden's $2 trillion clean energy and sustainability plan is light on specific details (pic credit: Joe Biden/Medium)

Biden plans to spend the full $2 trillion in his first four-year term if elected, and aims to spur the installation of “millions of solar panels and tens of thousands of wind turbines”.

The plan also includes targeted investments in infrastructure, the automotive industry and public transport, but specific details have not yet been released.

However, it was supported by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), with CEO Tom Kiernan “strongly applauding” the package.

Kiernan added: “As our country strives to recover from the global pandemic, racial injustices and economic recession, this is the right moment to grow the investments and good-paying American jobs associated with renewable energy development, including the significant economic benefits, lower cost electricity bills, and diverse community support that wind energy brings to rural parts of the country.”

Biden said he wants to set the US on an “irreversible course” to create a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 and "meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands".

While he did not commit to the US rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement when his clean energy plan was launched, Biden later said he would "immediately rejoin the climate accord" in a conversation with former vice president Al Gore.

Biden added that he would also  invite leaders of top polluting companies and engage these leaders to persuade them that they have to make bigger steps" towards meeting the Paris Agreement within the first 100 days of his presidency.

He added that he wanted to spur innovation in batteries - for use in electric vehicles, as well as a complement for wind and solar PV — and drive cost reductions in clean energy technologies including renewable hydrogen.

To do this, Biden plans to set up a new, cross-agency Advanced Research Projects Agency for climate (ARPA-C), as well as a technology-neutral energy efficiency and clean energy standard (EECES) for utilities and grid operators to scale-up best practices from state-level clean energy standards, he added.

The candidate, who was vice president in the Obama administration, added that under him, the US would continue with nuclear and hydropower. He added that he wants to repower existing transmission lines with new technology and cut red tape to promote faster and easier permitting for grid infrastructure.