The Biden administration made climate action and renewable energy support more and more integral to its campaign as the election approached. The incoming administration laid forth ambitious plans, which helped set them apart from past presidencies, but also resulted in some pretty massive promises:
To make the energy sector carbon-neutral by 2035, expediate the outdated permitting process for transmission projects, to increase the investment tax credit (ITC) on new solar installations, and many more.But, what has happened since then? The ITC was actually in danger of decreasing from 26% to 22% next year. The new transmission plan, to be proposed by newly appointed FERC chair, Richard Glick, is set to be announced by the end of Summer. Many new solar and renewable projects are being spearheaded this year (see linked graph). However, it seems that one of the most gargantuan roadblocks to Biden’s 2035 neutrality goal is the outdated system for updating and maintaining transmission infrastructure.
It is necessary to transmit clean energy from the states with more wind and sun to those that cannot produce as much renewable energy. This means crossing state lines, national parks, and thousands of private properties. If just one of these parties opposes an upcoming transmission project strongly enough, there will be pockets of the nation without any way to utilize renewables and we may not reach neutrality by 2035.There is still much to do and many promises to keep. What do you think? Is 2035 neutrality possible? Is there anything the Biden administration or congress are focusing on too much? What parts of the energy sector need to be supported more? Share your take; drop a comment!-Austen
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2021, January 11). U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis. Renewables account for most new U.S. electricity generating capacity in 2021 – Today in Energy – U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=46416.