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US govt proposes 80 percent cut in solar, wind project fees on federal land

The US land agency is currently processing 74 renewable energy and transmission applications with a combined potential of over 37 GW. Image: Pexels

The US government is proposing to make wind and solar installations cheaper as part of its plans to boost renewable energy and fight climate change.

The Biden administration has proposed a roughly 80 percent cut in project fees paid by wind and solar energy developments on federal lands and empowering the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to accept wind- and solar-energy lease applications in priority areas without holding competitive auctions.

The BLM is also considering offering additional reductions or incentives for energy projects that use made-in-America equipment or are built with union labor.

The proposals come after the government last year lowered lease and rent dues for solar and wind developments by 50 percent, citing developer complaints about rents being too high to attract investment.

US President Joe Biden has said he wants to decarbonize the US electricity sector by 2035, and the country's interior ministry has been tasked with setting up 25 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy on federal lands by 2025.

The US BLM manages 10 percent of US land and is currently processing 74 applications for setting up renewable energy stations (solar, wind, or geothermal) and/ or transmission lines linked to clean energy development, having a combined potential of over 37 GW.

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