Biden Administration Announces Massive Solar Investment

solar panel farm

This Earth Day, the Biden Administration announced an array of policy aims and funding initiatives to support the government’s work towards a green transition. President Biden announced a $7 billion investment in Solar for All Grants to deliver residential solar systems aimed at saving low-income households $350 million a year. Biden also advanced plans to develop his American Climate Corps Initiative by setting up a portal for youths to apply for a position in the environmental protection group. Throughout the week, the President is expected to announce several more initiatives aimed at tackling climate change, in line with the government’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and other climate policies. 

Solar Power for Low-Income Population

This Monday, President Biden traveled to Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Virginia, to celebrate Earth Day 2024. During his visit, Biden announced plans to build upon the government’s climate, clean energy, and environmental justice agenda. The President outlined several aims, including tackling the climate crisis, cutting costs for everyday Americans, and creating good-paying jobs.

Under the government’s climate agenda, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it had selected 60 companies to provide solar power to over 900,000 low-income and disadvantaged households across the U.S., under the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund grant competition. Funding comes from the Biden Administration’s Investing in America agenda through the IRA, which established the EPA’s $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. 

The funding will be distributed across states, territories, Tribal governments, municipalities, and nonprofits to develop durable solar programs that support low-income and disadvantaged communities in the deployment of distributed residential solar power. The program is expected to help decrease energy bills, create jobs in disadvantaged communities, and tackle climate change. 

Michael S. Regan, the EPA Administrator, stated, “The selectees will advance solar energy initiatives across the country, creating hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, saving $8 billion in energy costs for families, delivering cleaner air, and combating climate change.”

Meanwhile, John Podesta, the Senior Advisor to the President for International Climate Policy, explained, “Solar is the cheapest form of electricity—and one of the best ways to lower energy costs for American families.” 

The American Climate Corps Initiative

In addition to advancing U.S. solar capacity, Biden announced plans to advance the American Climate Corps, an initiative modeled on FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps that will enlist 20,000 youths from across the U.S. to work together to tackle climate change and develop skills in clean energy and climate resilience. 

Biden announced the launch of the new portal for youths to apply to join the corps. The website features almost 2,000 positions across 36 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, with hosts from hundreds of organizations that work to advance clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience. 

Michael D. Smith, the CEO of AmeriCorps – the federal agency for national service serving as the hub for the American Climate Corps, stated, “President Biden’s American Climate Corps is a call to action for people from all backgrounds who are committed to protecting our planet for future generations.” Smith added, “We’re opening doors for young people to embark on rewarding careers that make a real difference tackling climate change, advancing environmental justice, conserving America’s lands and waters, and more, in every community across the country. Our mission is clear: to empower the next generation with the skills and opportunities to lead the charge in clean energy and sustainability. Together, we’re building a resilient future, one service opportunity at a time.”

More Still to Come

Biden is expected to announce more climate initiatives throughout the week, which build upon the government’s aim for the U.S. to undergo a green transition. This week, the President is expected to introduce initiatives to ensure clean water for all communities, deliver clean transportation, cut pollution in the power sector, strengthen the U.S. electricity grid, and provide cleaner air and healthier schools for all children.

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Felicity Bradstock is a freelance writer specializing in Energy and Industry. She has a Master’s in International Development from the University of Birmingham, UK, and is now based in Mexico City.


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