WASHINGTON, D.C. – Hillary Clinton was set to lay out an ambitious plan Monday to invest in solar and other renewable energy sources if elected president, drawing a contrast with her fossil fuel-loving Republican rivals.
The Democratic front-runner was to speak at 1500 GMT at the main bus station in Des Moines, Iowa, where she has been campaigning since Saturday.
“First, I will ensure we hit a target of having more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of my first term,” Clinton said in a video released Sunday.
“Second, we’ll set a 10-year goal of generating enough renewable energy to power every single home in America.”
According to her campaign, those goals translate into an installed solar energy capacity of 140 gigawatts by the end of 2020, or a 700 percent increase over the number of solar panels installed today.
Her plan calls for using all forms of renewable energy to generate a third of all electric power in 2020, along with investments that her campaign says will put the U.S. economy on the road towards “deep decarbonization by 2050.”
In 2014, about 67 percent of the electricity generated in the United States came from fossil fuels, principally coal, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Only about 13 percent comes from renewables, and only 0.4 percent from solar. The rest, almost 20 percent, is generated by nuclear power plants.
In the video, Clinton said future generations will ask “what were we thinking?”
“I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain and I know what’s happening in the world is going to have a big effect on my daughter and especially on my granddaughter.
“It’s hard to believe there are people running for president who still refuse to accept the settled science of climate change,” she said.
On how she plans to accomplish her goals, Clinton proposes giving states, towns and rural communities financial incentives to fight climate change, either by placing more stringent curbs on emissions than the law requires or through stepped up investments in renewable energy.
Climate change is a hyper partisan issue in the United States, with many Republicans questioning whether human activity is contributing to global warming.
In Congress, the Republican majority has fought anti-pollution standards put in place by President Barack Obama, notably for coal-fueled power plants.