Story at a glance
- Members of the Biden administration will meet with energy industry leaders to begin developing large offshore wind energy infrastructure in the U.S.
- Two complimentary factories will be developed to manufacture critical materials in the U.S.
The Biden administration is set to develop one of the largest offshore wind energy construction projects in the U.S., making good on some of the sustainable campaign pillars President Biden ran on during the 2020 presidential elections.
Key Cabinet members, namely national climate adviser Gina McCarthy, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, met on Monday with state and industry leaders to outline plans to expand the U.S.’s offshore wind energy sector.
Several government agencies will work to establish infrastructure that can produce 30 gigawatts of energy generated by offshore wind by 2030. This is estimated to generate over $12 billion in capital investment in bicoastal projects, leading to the creation of about 44,000 union jobs.
This target aims at supplying power to more than 10 million American homes while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by about 78 million metric tons.
To help construct these wind farms, the administration plans to develop two new factories based in the U.S. They will manufacture major wind turbine components including wind turbine nacelles, blades, towers, foundations and subsea cables, as well as the ability to supply more than 7 million tons of steel.
“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,” said Granholm. “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.”
Generating power using wind energy is a more environmentally safe way to produce electricity than burning fossil fuels.
Per 2018 statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), electricity production accounted for about 26.9 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. — the second largest source behind transportation.
Wind energy would help reduce the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels when powering homes and businesses.
More federal funding will be allocated to ensure these wind farms do not disrupt any natural ecosystems or environments, advocates say, although wind developments have their critics, saying they can kill or disrupt wildlife, impact fishing or ruin natural views.
“For generations, we’ve put off the transition to clean energy and now we’re facing a climate crisis,” Haaland commented. “It’s a crisis that doesn’t discriminate – every community is facing more extreme weather and the costs associated with that. ... The climate crisis disproportionately impacts communities of color and low-income families. As our country faces the interlocking challenges of a global pandemic, economic downturn, racial injustice, and the climate crisis – we have to transition to a brighter future for everyone.”