Monday, February 19, 2024

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White House Announces Offshore Wind Initiative

On Monday, March 29th, the White House officially announced a new offshore wind energy initiative. It is designed to jumpstart the clean energy revolution that the administration hopes to achieve.

This initiative will include the Departments of Commerce, Energy, the Interior, and Transportation. They will have a shared goal to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030. And this move will lead to the creation of over 44,000 new jobs.

This makes good on both a promise of clean energy and creating new jobs to help the economy recover from Covid-19.

The Untapped Potential of Offshore Wind in the US

Offshore wind is extremely popular in many countries around the world, like Scotland. Yet, despite its widespread adoption, the US currently only has 2 operational offshore wind farms.

And the biggest one only consists of five turbines. Thus, there is plenty of room to grow.

That said, these numbers can be deceiving. While there are not many operational offshore wind farms, there are currently 152 projects under construction. And on the flipside, onshore wind contributed 8% of electricity generation in 2020 for the US.

Thus the wind market is gaining traction in the US.

To speed up the process, the Energy Department will make $3 billion available for the guaranteed loan program in regards to offshore projects. Whereas the Transportation department will start building more port infrastructure to help construction efforts.

Why Offshore Wind Makes Sense for the US

The population distribution within the US is anything but equal. Did you know that 80% of the country’s electricity demand comes from coastal regions?

That’s right, this technology can provide energy to the majority of the country. Yet, the problem has often been the cost of the projects. Most of the waters approved for projects are located in deep locations.

As a result, it has been very expensive to use floating win turbines, but times are changing.

The price of the technology has decreased significantly over the years and still continues to do so in 2021. With it, we can now provide clean renewable energy to coastal regions around the country.

These include the most populated states like California, New York, and Florida.

Currently, the offshore wind market in the US is valued at $24 billion, but is expected to increase its value two fold by 2030.

Electricity Demand Will Only Increase

Increase

As the US and the rest of the world look at achieving net-zero emissions, it is important to realize electricity demand will increase.

For instance, a crucial part of achieving this is to electrify every vehicle on the road. That’s going to mean tens of millions of vehicles will now need to connect to the electric grid on a regular basis.

This alone will significantly increase the electricity demand. Especially during peak hours.

On top of this, many houses around the country are not equipped with electric heating systems. Many still rely on burning fuels. These types of changes are critical to achieving net-zero emissions.

Thus, each country must not only increase the renewable capacity to meet the existing electricity demand, but plan for the future.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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