The Biden government has unveiled plans to develop large-scale wind farms, transforming into a grid along much of the U.S. coast in the coming years, a major effort to invest in renewable energy and combat the growing impacts of climate change.
Interior Minister Deb Haaland said on Wednesday that the government will begin work to identify seven major areas where it could lease federal waters to offshore wind development. Auctions could take place by 2025, a major step toward President Joe Biden’s promises to build 30,000 megawatts of offshore wind power by 2030, an amount that would power up to 10 million homes.
“The Department of the Interior is setting an ambitious roadmap as we advance the Administration’s plans to tackle climate change, create well-paid jobs and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy source,” Haaland said. “We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy, and Interior is fulfilling the moment.”
La proposed areas include almost the entire East Coast from Maine to Carolinas, the Gulf of Mexico, and a coastline along Oregon and California. The plan is an aggressive move that would help the White House’s goals of reducing the nation’s fossil fuel emissions by the end of the decade and meet goals that scientists have long stressed they need to avoid the worst effects of climate change .
Biden has pledged to reduce the nation’s fossil fuel emissions – a powerful greenhouse gas – by 50% from 2005 to 2030 levels. widely deployed throughout much of Europe.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, a subsidiary of the DOI, said the new projects could create nearly 80,000 jobs. The Associated Press notes that Haaland is also working to increase renewable energy on earth, including greater investment in wind and solar energy by 2025.
While the plans could revolutionize the U.S. power grid, they are nonetheless facing upward battles. The New York Times reports that even if the sites go through lengthy regulatory reviews, there is no guarantee that companies will rent the space to build the turbines. The newspaper adds that offshore wind projects have also been subjected to lawsuits by commercial fishing groups and coastal landowners, and oil and gas companies could claim that the renewable projects could damage their own business models.
Ministry of Interior officials said they plan to work closely with industry stakeholders to “build trust” with the offshore wind plans.
The Department of Energy also said Wednesday it will spend $ 13.5 million to study the risks from offshore wind development to wildlife, including birds, bats and marine mammals.
“Harnessing the incredible potential that exists within offshore wind energy is an essential piece to achieving a grid-zero carbon future,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said in a statement. “In order for Americans living in coastal areas to see the benefits of offshore wind, we need to make sure that it is done with care for the surrounding ecosystem coexisting with fishing and marine life – and that is exactly what this investment will do.”
The Biden government only approved the first commercial-scale indoor site park in May – the Vineyard Wind project, which is located about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. The project expects about 800 megawatts of electricity, which could power up to 400,000 homes.