One of the President’s specific goals in implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is supporting the renewable energy industry and providing capital over the next three years to eventually double domestic renewable energy capacity. Aiding in our nation’s move toward a clean energy economy, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will expedite the processing and permitting of environmentally-responsible renewable energy development on the National System of Public Lands.
|BLM will spend $41 million to facilitate a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of solar, wind, and geothermal energy.|
The BLM currently has 241 applications for wind projects and 199 applications for solar projects in various stages of processing. The President’s stated goal is to invest $150 billion over the next ten years to accelerate renewable energy development. Under the Recovery Act, funding is targeted for smart grid development and energy transmission through other agencies, in addition to tax credits to encourage renewable energy development. This will dramatically increase renewable energy applications on federal lands and the need to expedite processing. Funding from the Recovery Act is needed by the BLM to adequately support the greatly increased scope of renewable energy initiatives of the current Administration.
Recovery Act Funding
The BLM received $305 million to help stimulate the economy through investments in the National System of Public Lands. A total of $41 million for 65 projects will be used to facilitate a rapid and responsible move to large-scale production of solar, wind, and geothermal energy, as well as the siting of transmission infrastructure on public lands to support renewable energy development.
The President’s New Energy for America Plan sets a target of ensuring 10 percent of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2012 and 25 percent of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2025, resulting in a decreased dependency on foreign oil. The BLM is meeting the nation’s quest for a clean energy economy head-on by working to accelerate the development of renewable energy within identified high-production potential Renewable Energy Zones on public lands.
The BLM is not only working to see that Americans benefit from the effort to increase renewable energy development on public lands, but also ensuring that Americans have a say in how this initiative moves forward. With ARRA funds, during fiscal year 2010 the BLM will complete regional Environmental Impact Statements for the Renewable Energy Zones, along with any necessary studies and data collection that address, among several items, the siting of projects and energy transmission capabilities. Beyond 2010, the BLM will address alternative leasing systems, funding methodologies, and larger-scale renewable energy production and transmission.