Biden Announces Floating Offshore Wind Projects That Could Power 5 Million Homes

Floating wind turbines off the coast of Portugal
Floating wind turbines off the coast of Viana do Castelo, Portugal on Aug. 24, 2021. Hugo Amaral / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images
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The Biden administration committed Thursday to build enough floating offshore wind capacity by 2035 to power 5 million homes.

The 15GW by 2035 target is in addition to the administration’s goal of installing 30GW of traditional offshore wind by 2030. Floating offshore wind is still an emerging technology, producing 0.2% of global offshore wind power, and the administration’s efforts will include supporting research and development across multiple federal agencies to bring down costs, and pilot projects in California and Oregon.

The Energy Department hopes to reduce the cost-per-MW of floating offshore wind by 70% by 2035. Deep water areas off the West Coast and in the Gulf of Maine offer significant wind energy potential that cannot be harnessed by traditional offshore wind turbines secured to the ocean floor.

As reported by The Oregonian:

There are only a handful of floating offshore platforms in the world — all in Europe — but officials said the technology is developing and could soon establish the United States as a global leader in offshore wind.

The push for offshore wind is part of Biden’s effort to promote clean energy and address global warming. Biden has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. A climate-and-tax bill Biden signed last month would spend about $375 billion over 10 years to boost electric vehicles, jump-start renewable energy such as solar and wind power and develop alternative energy sources like hydrogen.

For a deeper dive:

AP, E&E, Reuters, Politico Pro, The Hill, The Verge, KVIA, Oregon Capital Chronicle, CNN, The Oregonian

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