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As part of the Biden administration’s plan to achieve 100% clean energy by 2035, a plan to expand the construction of offshore wind farms has been announced. The plan targets 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity along the east coast of the United States by 2030.
A key approach to management is protecting biodiversity, promoting ocean sharing, and creating large numbers of union jobs. “It will generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions,” the Biden administration said.
The announcement comes as the US also announces plans to cut solar energy costs by another 60 percent by 2030, recognizing it as a key part of its plan for zero grid emissions by around 2035. And it also happens when Biden invites 40 world leaders, including Australian Scott Morrison, to a “climate summit” in April, when Biden will unveil an enhanced emissions reduction target, and expect his guests to do the same.
“We are ready for rock-and-roll,” national climate adviser Gina McCarthy told US journalists in a phone call Monday, the Washington Post reported. McCarthy added that offshore wind would create “thousands of well-paying jobs. It’s about creating great jobs in the ocean and in our port cities and in our hearts.
“This offshore wind energy goal is proof of our commitment to using the ingenuity and power of Americans to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security, and combat the climate crisis,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer M Granholm.
“The Department of Energy (DoE) is going to pool all the resources we have to get so many American companies, using as many American steel sheets, employing as many American workers as possible in offshore wind energy, driving economic growth from coast to coast.
US offshore wind has seen disappointing growth at best in recent decades, with only one offshore project operating in the United States, near Rhode Island. However, the growth potential is significant, and the International Energy Agency reported in 2019 that the technical potential production from offshore wind was around 8,000 terawatt hours, roughly double the country’s total electricity demand.
Offshore wind is very unique in that it is technically variable but significantly more consistent in production than onshore and solar wind, although it is still more expensive than both. “New offshore wind projects have capacity factors of 40% to 50%, as larger turbines and other technological improvements are helping to make the most of available wind resources,” said the International Energy Agency.
“At these levels, offshore wind energy matches the capacity factors of efficient gas-fired power plants, coal-fired power plants in some regions, exceeds those of onshore wind and is approximately twice those of the Photovoltaic Solar Energy”.
The Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) predicts that offshore wind power in North America will become a substantial proportion of total global growth, with the majority occurring in Europe.
“In total, 23 gigawatts of offshore wind power is expected to be built in this region in this decade, of which less than 1 GW is expected to come from Canada.”
This means that Biden’s plan is a significant increase in the expected growth rate of offshore wind in the US. The Biden plan directly addressed the permitting processes that GWEC says are slowing the growth of the industry in the US.
“At the end of 2019, BOEM (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) has auctioned 16 active commercial leases for offshore wind development that could support more than 21 GW of generation capacity,” writes GWEC. State-based offshore wind targets are the key drivers behind this goal, although most of them are targeting 2035 rather than Biden’s 2030 offshore wind target.
Source: El periodico de la energia