Riding the Winds of Change with Investments in America’s Energy Future | Jenner and block
“When the winds of change blow, some build walls, others build windmills.” While this ancient Chinese proverb probably did not envision the construction of large-scale offshore wind farms, its wisdom remains surprisingly applicable to US energy and infrastructure policies in the 21st Century. At a time of growing concern over fossil fuel availability, climate change and energy grid security, corporate environmental advocate takes a moment on Earth Day 2022 to turn to investing of our country in the improvement of infrastructures and clean and autonomous energy sources.
Without a doubt, one of the largest recent public investments in America’s infrastructure and energy future took place on November 15, 2021, when President Biden signed into law the highly anticipated bipartisan $1.2 trillion bill. dollars on investment in infrastructure and jobs. According to the bill’s summary, over the next five years, the legislation will make significant infrastructure investments, including $110 billion in additional funding for repairs to bridges and roads, as well as about $30 billion dollars in public transport. In addition, the bill allocates approximately $65 billion to the nation’s electrical infrastructure, including nearly $29 billion dedicated solely to strengthening and protecting the electrical grid. Finally, the bill includes $7.5 billion to deploy a nationwide network of electric vehicle chargers in highway corridors across the United States.
Perhaps even more critical than the legislation’s investment is infrastructure spending, is its investment in future clean energy sources. Funds allocated through 2025 for clean energy projects include $84,000,000 for improved geothermal systems, $100,000,000 for wind power and $80,000,000 for solar power. Additionally, the Biden administration is betting big on “clean hydrogen” — an emerging form of clean energy that uses surplus from other renewable sources to create additional energy by splitting water molecules — affecting approximately $8 million in technology investment funding.
Beyond investment in U.S. public infrastructure, private investment in clean energy assets also exploded in 2021, hitting a record $105 billion. This investment represents an 11% jump from 2020 and 70% over the past five years, according to the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. Private support for U.S. assets such as wind farms and solar power plants accounts for about 14% of the $755 billion in global private investment made last year, including investment in the first commercial-scale offshore wind farm. of the United States, the 30 MW Block Island wind farm, which is expected to supply electricity to the energy grid by 2023. The project is the first of what the Department of Energy (DOE) plans to be a major deployment of privately funded offshore wind energy, including an estimated addition of over 30 gigawatts of offshore energy. wind energy by 2030.
At a time when Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the future of our country, it is important to seize the opportunity of a bilateral agreement presented by future investments in the country’s infrastructure and clean energy. Safe roads, reliable energy networks, clean air and new jobs are an area of common agreement among Americans at a time when such agreements seem increasingly rare. As a nation, we would do well to embrace our changing world and our new challenges by investing in ourselves and our future.