Washington D.C., United States — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 February 2011 – In an unprecedented move, American President Barack Obama has placed clean energy front and center on the agenda of the United States government by calling for an 80% clean energy target by 2035.
In his yearly State of the Union address to the nation’s lawmakers, Obama said it was time for America to invest in the energy of the future and to stop supporting the energy of the past. He called on Congress to remove all subsidies for fossil fuels and to reinvest the money saved into clean energy initiatives.
The president said he hoped America could obtain 80% of its energy from clean sources by 2035 “’ the most aggressive target ever set forth by a president. While renewable energy supporters were thrilled with the bold target, they were reminded during the speech that Obama’s idea of clean energy is broad: His target includes nuclear energy, clean coal and natural gas, in addition to traditional renewable methods like wind, solar, biomass, geothermal and hydro.
“Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas,” he said. “To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.”
Linda Church Ciocci of the National Hydropower Association applauded the president’s bold initiatives and said that hydropower was poised to meet the mandate.
"With the potential to double its contribution, expanding our hydro resources is key to achieving the president’s vision of the future,” she said. “We strongly support a national standard to expand clean and renewable energy that includes and promotes development of affordable, reliable and available American hydropower.”
Rhone Resch of the Solar Energy Industries Association called the president’s agenda for clean energy ‘ambitious,’ and said “solar is ready to do its part to create jobs, innovate and keep the U.S. competing.”