The Biden administration unveiled this Monday a plan to deploy 30 gigawatts of new offshore wind capacity to tackle the climate crisis. The plan includes also the acceleration of permits; the opening of new areas for development, as well as boosting public investment for such projects.
Firstly, the plan sets new 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030; which would be enough to power 10 million American homes, and to cut 78 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, according to the administration.
Secondly, this developments in infrastructure will create at least 44,000 new direct jobs, by such year; many of those jobs will surge at new factories that will produce the turbine blades, towers and other key components for the massive offshore complexes. The Biden administration calculates this would upgrade investments related to offshore in almost $500 million.
Thirdly, as for speeding permits and ramp up of investments, the government said it would provide up to $3 billion in public financing; through the Department of Energy.
Moreover, one of the first steps would be the opening of a new offshore wind energy development zone in New York Blight; off the coasts of Long Island, New York and New Jersey. The auction would happen later this year.
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Offshore wind development plan meets resistance from Republicans and fishers
Indeed, the U.S, has lagged behind in offshore developments when compared with the European Union. The U.S. only has two small offshore wind facilities. The Biden administration aims to contrast with its antecessor, Donald Trump. In fact, one of the projects that presented a speed up just with the entering of Joe Biden to the oval office, was the Vineyard Wind.
However, the plan faced criticism from the fishing industry and the Republican counterparts of the administration of Joe Biden. According to Reuters, Republicans say that banning oil drilling in federal lands, and ramp up offshore wind would create economic damage. While the fishers argue that massive turbines in the sea will interfere with fishing zones and seasons.
Nevertheless, National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said at a virtual press conference, said. “We are ready to rock and roll.” On the other hand, Commerce Secretary, Gina Raimondo, vowed to “work through the tensions between fishers and wind development.”
Finally, the U.S. has more than 20 GW of offshore wind, in various stages of development. Those would further expand Biden’s administration efforts in the sector.