US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton unveils renewable energy goals

Hillary Clinton promised on Sunday to push for a dramatic increase in renewable power production.
Hillary Clinton promised on Sunday to push for a dramatic increase in renewable power production.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - United States Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised on Sunday to push for a dramatic increase in renewable power production, setting a goal of generating enough clean renewable energy to power every US home within 10 years of taking office.

Clinton, the front-runner for her party's 2016 presidential nomination, also pledged to have more than half a billion solar panels installed nationwide within four years of taking office.

The two goals were the first elements of what she said would be a comprehensive climate-change agenda to be announced over the next few months.

Her campaign said the goals would lead to a 700 per cent increase in the nation's installed solar capacity from current levels, and eventually could generate at least one third of all electricity from renewable sources.

Clinton's plans also call for extending federal clean energy tax incentives and making them more cost effective both for taxpayers and clean energy producers, her campaign said.

"We're on the cusp of a new era," Clinton said in announcing the goals on her website. "We can create a more open, efficient and resilient grid that connects us, empowers us-improves our health and benefits us all."

Clinton will discuss the proposals during a campaign stop on Monday at an energy-efficient transit station in Iowa, the state that kicks off the 2016 presidential nominating race in barely six months and is a leading wind energy producer.

Clinton has promised to make the issue of climate change a key pillar of her campaign platform, and the proposals she will discuss on Monday are the first steps toward fleshing out what has mostly been bare-boned climate rhetoric.

While Clinton is the clear front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination in the November 2016 presidential election, she has come under growing pressure from the left from rival Bernie Sanders, a US senator from Vermont and a self-styled socialist who has called for swift action on climate change.

The former US senator and secretary of state has been criticised by environmental activists anxious for her to move beyond President Barack Obama's energy policies and spell out details of a comprehensive climate plan that would boost renewable energy sources.