Renewable energy accounted for more than 10 percent of the domestically-produced energy used in the United States in the first half of 2008. The United States’ hydroelectric plants produce 300,000 MW, making the largest contribution to the country’s renewable energy. However, wind power in the United States is a growing industry. Increases in wind, solar, and geothermal power are expected to allow renewable energy production to double in the three year period from 2009 to 2012, an increase from 7% to 14% of total consumption. Most of the increase is expected to come from wind power. President Barack Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes more than $70 billion in direct spending and tax credits for clean energy and associated transportation programs. This policy-stimulus combination represents the largest federal commitment in U.S. history for renewable energy, advanced transportation, and energy conservation initiatives. As a result of these new initiatives, many more utilities are expected to strengthen their clean energy programs.
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