7 wind farms along US coasts are planned by the Biden administration, according to US President Barack Obama
The Biden administration had previously promised to build 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. On Wednesday, the administration revealed how it's going to achieve that lofty goal. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland unveiled a plan to create dozens of wind farms along the East and West coasts of the country, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico, during addressing soaring wind energy costs in Boston.
According to Haaland, the Department of Interior expects to conduct lease sales by 2025 for seven potential farms off the coasts of California, Oregon, New York, Main, mid-Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. Officials haven't specified how much electricity the farms are expected to produce, but they do say 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 goals 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 achieving them right now."
The administration's goal of 30 gigawatts of wind power by 2030 would bring it in line with Europe, which has 25 gigawawatt-worth of offshore wind energy spread across 12 countries. The US produces 42 megawatts of electricity annually from offshore wind power.
It's the latest in a series of steps taken by the Biden administration to clarify the US' path to carbon neutrality. Last month, the Department of Energy released a report recommending that solar energy should account for 40% of the US electricity by 2035, up from 3% in 2020. The administration approved the US' first offshore windfarm, approximately 12 miles off the coast of Martha's Vineyard, in May. In addition to constructing 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity, the Biden administration also plans to approve 25 gig watt hours of onshore renewable energy by 2025.
The most significant climate measures would be included in two infrastructure bills congress is currently wrangling over, which include a clean energy tax credit system, and fees for oil and gas firms that emit methane.
Wednesday's announcement comes ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, where world leaders will meet in Glasgow to discuss climate agreements. At COP21 in 2015, the Paris Agreement, in which signatories pledged to reduce emissions in order to keep global warming below 2 degrees, was adopted.