Other Ways Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Could Power America’s Shift From Fossil Fuels

Other Ways Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Could Power America’s Shift From Fossil Fuels
The Washington Post explains exactly how the new infrastructure plan of U.S President Joe Biden would “turbocharge” America’s transition away from fossil fuels:

The linchpin of Biden’s plan, which he detailed in a speech Wednesday in Pittsburgh, is the creation of a national standard requiring utilities to use a specific amount of solar, wind and other renewable energy to power American homes, businesses and factories… [Including hydropower and nuclear energy.] Biden has said he wants a carbon-free electricity grid by 2035, so the proposed standard will probably be large…

He also plans to ask Congress to provide $174 billion to boost the U.S. market share of electric vehicles and their supply chains, from raw materials to retooled factories. He reiterated that he wants to establish 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations by 2030 and electrify 20 percent of the nation’s yellow school buses.

Biden also requested $10 billion for a new Civilian Climate Corps, a name designed to echo President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps. Biden’s version would hire an army of young people to work on projects that conserve and restore public lands and waters, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration through agriculture, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and build resilience to climate change…

Biden is also asking for $16 billion to put “hundreds of thousands” of people to work plugging hundreds of thousands of “orphan” oil and natural gas wells that were largely abandoned after their useful life but which now leak methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

The plan also calls for tax credits for solar panels — and for companies researching carbon-capture technologies — as well as new funding tools for power transmission lines. But it also seeks $35 billion to pursue a breakthrough technology (as well as $15 billion for climate-related demonstration projects.

This offers a way to commercialize and scale up today’s already-existing innovations for clean energy, an official at the Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy told the Post. He suggested the government’s purchasing power could ultimately be crucial in lowering the cost of clean technologies like carbon capture and sustainable aviation fuel, and even the cost of producing hydrogen fuel by splitting water molecules.

Slashdot reader DanDrollette also adds this note from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:

The Biden administration announced what the Washington Post calls “an ambitious plan to expand wind farms along the East Coast and jump-start the country’s nascent offshore wind industry,” with enough windmills to be built that they could power more than 10 million US homes, and cut 78 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions…

The Biden administration said it will invest in associated research and development, provide $3 billion in low-interest loans to the offshore wind industry, and fund $230 million in changes to US ports to accommodate the expected influx of shipping and construction… While offshore wind is probably one of the fastest-growing sectors in renewable energy, the United States is still far behind Europe, where windmills are a common sight off the coast and the technology is widely accepted…

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