US presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday said he would spend $2 trillion on clean energy development over his first four years in office if elected in November, a more ambitious plan than he had previously promised that was immediately hailed by the American wind industry.

The proposal sets the goal of decarbonising electricity generation by 2035 and aims to create millions of jobs to help the nation recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. Previously, Biden called for $1.7trn in spending over 10 years and set a zero-emissions target of 2050.

The plan would spur the installation of millions of solar modules and tens of thousands of wind turbines on land and offshore in Biden's first four-year term, according to the campaign.

The scale of the plan was swiftly welcomed by the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

"We strongly applaud the Biden campaign for taking an ambitious, comprehensive approach to climate change policy that recognies the renewable energy industry’s ability to grow America’s economy towards a cleaner environment and a more prosperous and equitable future," said AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan.

"The American wind industry is prepared to rapidly grow its 120,000-person workforce to help our country achieve a 100% carbon-free electric grid by 2035, leading the way as other sectors of the economy begin to rely more and more on clean, affordable electricity to power businesses and communities."

Mollify critics

The Biden campaign released the plan as it attempts to mollify the more progressive members of the candidate's Democratic party, who have criticised his views on fossil fuels and climate change as being too moderate.

The proposal is also in stark contrast to the current administration of President Donald Trump, a Republican who has supported fossil fuels as the backbone to its "American Energy Dominance" agenda.

Biden's plan would deploy the $2trn in funding during his first term in office starting in 2021, with target areas including infrastructure, the auto industry, and transit.

The proposal also intends to achieve zero-carbon electricity generation by 2035. Biden, who served as vice president under Trump predecessor Barack Obama, would "scale up" best practices from state-level clean energy standards "which are being implemented in a way that provides renewable credits to developers that follow high labour standards, including through Project Labor and Community Labor Agreements and paying prevailing wages," according to the campaign.

Biden officials said they would provide further details of the plan over the coming weeks.