By JENNIFER McDERMOTT
The U.S. Energy Department said Wednesday it has a new strategy to meet the goal of vastly expanding offshore wind energy to address climate change.
The Biden administration wants to build 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 — enough to power more than 10 million homes. The turbines would be anchored to the seafloor. It wants to deploy another 15 gigawatts of floating wind turbines by 2035, enough to power 5 million homes. The first commercial scale offshore wind project in the United States is currently under construction off the coast of Massachusetts.
Capturing the power of strong wind does not contribute to climate change and can enable the shutdown of power plants that operate on combustion and do pollute, reducing the emissions that are causing the climate to change.
With its Offshore Wind Energy Strategy, DOE lays out a plan for supporting offshore wind development to meet the 2030 targets. It was released during an offshore wind energy conference in Baltimore held by the Business Network for Offshore Wind.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm promised in a statement that offshore wind “will create tens of thousands of good-paying, union jobs and revitalize coastal communities.”
The administration is attempting to lower the cost of fixed offshore wind by 30%, down to $51 per megawatt hour by 2030 and support a domestic supply chain for the industry. It also wants to establish the United States as a leader in floating offshore wind and lower its cost by nearly 70% to $45 per megawatt hour by 2035. Another goal is to figure out how to bring large amounts of wind energy onto the U.S. power grid, and advance technologies that use offshore wind to produce hydrogen and clean fuels. Among other uses those can be used to make power even when the wind is not blowing, making an intermittent clean source into one that is closer to 24/7.
To achieve all this, Jocelyn Brown-Saracino, the department’s offshore wind energy lead, said DOE is bringing people together to solve offshore wind issues, working with the industry on technology demonstrations and offshore wind research, and financing clean energy projects.
“Our hope is that this outlines a really powerful contribution to advancing offshore wind in the United States,” she said.
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