Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Biden administration’s new plan to advance U.S. offshore wind energy

The Biden administration announced the plan to develop new floating offshore wind platforms, an emerging clean energy technology. The splashy new goals are aimed at positioning the United States as a leader in the development of next-generation floating wind turbines.

In addition to President Biden’s economic and clean energy agenda, these actions will create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families, and strengthen U.S. energy security.

The Biden administration plans to deploy 15 gigawatts (GW) of installed floating offshore wind capacity by 2035. It would be enough to power more than five million American homes with clean energy, according to the Department of Interior (DOI). The Administration has previously set a goal of 30 GW goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 using traditional technology that secures wind turbines to the ocean floor.

Conventional offshore wind turbines can be secured directly to the sea floor in shallow waters near the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. However, deep-water areas that require floating platforms are home to two-thirds of America’s offshore wind energy potential, including along the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine. The Administration’s new actions will capture this vast potential to power millions of homes and businesses and tackle the climate crisis.

To support these ambitious new goals on floating offshore wind, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $50 million of funding for research, development, and demonstration of floating offshore wind technologies.

The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE), Interior (DOI), Commerce, and Transportation jointly launched the Floating Offshore Wind Shot, a new initiative to grow clean energy capacity. The Floating Offshore Wind Shot includes an ambitious goal to bring down the cost of floating offshore wind energy by more than 70% to $45 per megawatt-hour by 2035.

DOI’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) will advance lease areas in deep waters for floating technology, starting with a lease auction off the coast of California by the end of 2022. Bringing floating offshore wind technology to scale will unlock new opportunities for offshore wind power off the coasts of California and Oregon, in the Gulf of Maine, and beyond.

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