The Biden administration announced plans for significant growth in offshore wind energy, setting a target to deploy 30 GW off offshore wind capacity by 2030.
The new target was set in a White House-convened meeting involving the Interior, Energy, Commerce, and Transportation Departments, supporting President Biden’s whole-of-government approach to position the U.S. to lead a clean energy revolution.
According to the White House, the energy generated under this new initiative will generate enough power to meet the demand of more than 10 million American homes for a year, and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. The achievement of the new target would also unlock a pathway to 110 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050, according to a White House statement.
In his first week in office, Biden announced a series of climate-focused executive actions, including pauses new oil and gas leases on public lands or offshore, and to increase renewable energy production. At the time, the President noted the potential for offshore wind as a key source of future clean energy.
The administration highlighted the potential for the new target to spur billions in investment and create thousands of jobs. According to a White House statement, meeting the 30 GW goal will trigger more than $12 billion per year in capital investment in projects on both U.S. coasts, and see more than 44,000 workers employed in offshore wind by 2030 and nearly 33,000 additional jobs in communities supported by offshore wind activity.
Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said:
“This offshore wind goal is proof of our commitment to using American ingenuity and might to invest in our nation, advance our own energy security, and combat the climate crisis. DOE is going to marshal every resource we have to get as many American companies, using as many sheets of American steel, employing as many American workers as possible in offshore wind energy—driving economic growth from coast to coast.”
As part of the new initiative, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Program Office (LPO) announced the release of a fact sheet aiming to facilitate access for up to $3 billion in funding, signalling that it is ‘open for business’ to partner with offshore wind and offshore transmission developers, suppliers, and other financing partners. The announcement follows an initiative launched last week by the DOE to slash the cost of solar energy by more than half by 2030, along with a commitment of $128 million in funding to lower costs, improve performance, and speed the deployment of solar energy technologies.
In addition, the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity for port authorities and other applicants to apply for $230 million for port and intermodal infrastructure-related projects through the Port Infrastructure Development Program to support projects that strengthen and modernize port infrastructure, and can support shore-side wind energy projects.
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said:
“Tackling the climate crisis is vital to our nation’s future. The Biden-Harris Administration is taking actions that show how creating jobs and addressing climate change can and must go hand in hand. Today’s announcement makes a critical investment in our nation’s ports, which in turn builds up the resilience and sustainability of America’s economy.”