US surpasses renewable energy goal for public lands


By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – The Biden administration on Thursday said the U.S. had surpassed a goal of permitting more than 25 gigawatts of clean energy projects on public lands by 2025 and finalized a plan to slash project fees for wind and solar energy on federal acreage.


The announcement marks the latest effort by the administration of President Joe Biden to leverage the nation’s 250 million acres of federal land to reach his goal of decarbonizing the U.S. power grid by 2035.

The permitted projects also appeared to satisfy a Congressional mandate from 2020 that the Interior Department permit at least 25 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2025.


“We know that clean energy including transmission lines, solar energy and storage projects on public lands is helping communities across the country to be part of the climate solution while creating good paying jobs,” Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said on a call with reporters.

BY THE NUMBERS * The Interior Department has permitted nearly 29 GW ofclean energy on public lands – enough to power more than 12million homes. * The Bureau of Land Management, which manages 250 millionacres of federal lands, has permitted more than 7 GW of projectssince 2021. The agency is processing permits for an additional32 GW of renewable energy. * The finalized Renewable Energy Rule will reduce fees forsolar and wind projects on federal lands by 80% whilestreamlining the application process.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Plants grow through an array of solar panels in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., May 6, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo


The administration is undertaking a separate effort to identify areas in 11 western states best suited for solar energy development. A final plan is expected by the end of the year.