Obama Administration pushes on offshore wind energy

The heads of the Interior (DOE) and Energy (DOE) Departments, Ken Salazar and Steven Chu, consider that it is time to speed up the development of offshore wind turbines, and therefore announced a significant national plan for the promotion of offshore wind farm plants.

The first step is a $50.5 million funding to support wind farm projects for the transport of electricity produced in the mid-Atlantic area as a priority development sector.

The announcement of the key role assigned to offshore wind turbines in the Atlantic was made during the presentation of the strategic plan for the creation of a national offshore wind power industry. This technology is currently considered essential in the US to achieve the target stated by President Obama, aimed at meeting – by 2035 – 80% of US electricity needs from clean and low-carbon sources.

The programme, which will be coordinated by the two Departments, aims to promote and support the development of a globally competitive wind power industry. At the same time, the launching of this programme implies that federal agencies have committed to promote an environmentally friendly development, which will not collide with other ways of harnessing of ocean energy.

Under a technical viewpoint, the plan will provide assistance to every project that aims at containing costs, at providing reliable and highly performing engineering solutions with high performances and at ensuring an adequate degree of grid integration.

According to Steven Chu, the national strategy seeks to install 10,000 MW of offshore wind farm plants by 2020 and to accelerate this development over the next decade, in order to reach a capacity of 54,000 MW by 2030.