US to launch multi-billion dollar energy renewal programme

The Obama Administration is seeking billions of dollars to modernise America’s ageing energy infrastructure. According to the White House, the investment would create a "clean energy economy, built to last", able to combat climate change and increase domestic energy resources.  

The targets for investment are set out in the administration’s first ever Quadrennial Energy Review (QER). This estimates that more than $15bn is needed to repair the country’s energy infrastructure, and sets out how it could be done with spending programmes or tax credits. 

The report focuses on energy transmission, storage, and distribution – the networks of pipelines, power lines, storage, waterways, railroads, and other facilities that form the sinews of America’s energy system.  

An estimated $350m will be awarded to states for grid modernisation, and the Department of Energy has requested $3.5bn over the next decade for technological advancements in that area. 

The Department of Energy is expected to provide $3.5bn towards oil and gas infrastructure repair work.  

The report also recommends that $2bn be found over the next 10 years to connect rail, road and water transport systems.  

The QER, which was commissioned by President Obama when he announced his Climate Action Plan in June 2013, has taken more than a year to compile. 

In 2013, The American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s energy infrastructure a D-plus grade. 

A fact sheet from the White House on energy infrastructure renewal can be downloaded here. 

Image: President Obama talking at American University (Wikimedia Commons)

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