Biden administration plans 7 huge wind farms alongside US coasts

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The Biden administration previously pledged to build 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. On Wednesday, the administration revealed how it’s going to meet that lofty goal. Speaking at a wind power conference in Boston, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland unveiled a plan that would see a series of wind farms developed along the East and West coasts of the country, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.

Haaland says the Department of Interior plans to hold lease sales by 2025 for seven potential farms off the coasts of California, Oregon, New York, Main, the mid-Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. Officials haven’t stated how much electricity the farms are expected to produce, but said that the seven potential farms could reduce carbon emissions by 78 million tons and create up to 77,000 jobs. 

“The Interior Department is laying out an ambitious road map as we advance the administration’s plans to confront climate change, create good-paying jobs, and accelerate the nation’s transition to a cleaner energy future,” Haaland said. “We have big goals to achieve a clean energy economy and Interior is meeting the moment.”

The admininistration’s plan for 30 gigawatts-worth of wind power by 2030 would bring it in line with Europe, which has 25 gigawatts of offshore wind power spread across 12 countries. At present, offshore wind power produces 42 megawatts of electricity in the US

It’s the latest in a set of moves the Biden administration has made to clear the US’ path to carbon neutrality. Last month the Department of Energy published a report proposing that solar energy produce 40% of the US electricity by 2035, up from 3% in 2020. In May, the administration approved the US’ first offshore windfarm, roughly 12 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. In addition to building 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, the Biden administration also plans to approve 25 gigawatts of onshore renewable power by 2025. 

The biggest climate actions would be part of two infrastructure bills congress is currently wrangling over, with provisions that include a clean energy tax credit system, and fees for oil and gas companies that emit methane. 

Wednesday’s announcement comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, where world leaders will meet in Glasgow to negotiate climate agreements. The Paris Agreement, in which signatories committed to lowering emissions in order to keep global warming under 2 degrees, was signed at COP21 in 2015. 

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