chapter
US renewable energy programme
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As in the UK, a high level of emphasis on cost effectiveness has been a touchstone in the approach adopted to renewables by the USA in recent years, but in the early years, the US renewable programme was very much driven by other considerations. For example, in the 1970s, following the first oil crisis, President Carter established Project Independence with the aim of obtaining 20 per cent of the USA’s power from renewables by 2000. Although that may not have happened, in a country with so much material and financial wealth, the scale of renewable development has often dwarfed that elsewhere, at least until recently. That was particularly clear in the ‘wind rush’ that occurred in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s when thousands of machines were installed, although not all of them were well designed, with some subsequently failing.