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Last week, the White House released President Barack Obama's "Blueprint for a Clean and Secure Energy Future," which includes renewable energy, smart grid and electric vehicle (EV) initiatives.

"The United States is on the path to a cleaner and more secure energy future," the blueprint says, adding that since President Obama took office, renewable energy generation has doubled and carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest level in almost 20 years. "But even with this progress,” the blueprint continues, “there is more work to do."

Here are a few noteworthy plans highlighted in President Obama’s energy blueprint:

- The president has set a goal of doubling renewable energy generation again by 2020. In order to help achieve this, Obama is urging Congress to make permanent the renewable energy production tax credit, a key tax incentive among the clean energy industries, especially the wind power sector.

- Obama wants the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) to continue making permitting for renewable energy projects “more robust.” In 2012, the DOI successfully reached the president’s goal to permit 10 GW of renewable projects on public lands. To further such progress, the president’s budget will boost funding for the DOI’s Bureau of Land Management energy programs by about 20%.

- The president’s budget also includes $200 million in performance-based funding to help state governments create and implement policies to reduce the waste of energy and support grid modernization. According to the White House fact sheet, key opportunities for states include “modernizing utility regulations to encourage cost-effective investments in efficiency like combined heat and power, clean distributed generation, and demand response resources; enhancing customer access to data; investments that improve the reliability, security and resilience of the grid; and enhancing the sharing of information regarding grid conditions.”

- The president has proposed an Energy Security Trust, which would put $2 billion over 10 years into research and development of advanced vehicles, including EVs.

The full blueprint is available here.


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