In just eight short years, renewable energy on America’s public lands has gone from zero to hero -- generating domestic clean energy, cutting carbon pollution and creating good-paying jobs here at home.
When President Obama took office in 2009, there were few renewable energy projects on public lands. Fast forward to 2016, and the Interior Department’s renewable initiatives are unlocking the energy potential of public lands and waters in unprecedented ways. And they’re all done using leasing strategies that make sure renewable energy projects are built the right way with community and stakeholder input, in the right places.
Interior is working with producers on the cutting edge of geothermal energy -- tapping reservoirs of steam miles beneath the Earth’s surface to create electricity. The Bureau of Land Management has approved 818 geothermal leases across 11 western states and Alaska. That adds up to a total capacity of 1,500 megawatts of geothermal energy, which means that a record-breaking 40 percent of U.S. geothermal energy capacity is generated on public lands.