Obama aims to fast-track new wave of renewables projects

The Obama administration has this week handed a major boost to America's renewable energy sector, announcing plans to fast-track planning and permitting decisions for a new wave of utility-scale wind and solar projects.

The Office of Management and Budget confirmed that in response to a Presidential Executive Order issued in March this year tasking officials with speeding up planning decisions for key infrastructure projects, seven major clean energy projects planned for Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming would be expedited through government permitting processes.
The six utility-scale solar projects and one wind farm could combined deliver nearly 5GW of renewable energy capacity, providing enough clean power for about 1.5 million homes.

"As part of President Obama's all-of-the-above strategy to expand domestic energy production and strengthen the economy, we are working to advance smart development of renewable energy on our public lands," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar in a statement. "These seven proposed solar and wind projects have great potential to grow our nation's energy independence, drive job creation, and power economies across the west."

By sad contrast his Republican rival Mitt Romney has been calling for an end to government support for renewable energy technologies and an increased focus on accelerating the country's recent shale gas boom.