U.S. calls on nations to set bold targets for offshore wind power

A top Biden administration official on Thursday challenged nations to join the United States in setting aggressive goals to expand electricity production from offshore wind.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued the call during an appearance at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow.

The administration of President Joe Biden has moved swiftly this year to support a nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, a key part of its plan to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 and address global warming.

But it has stumbled in its effort to restrict fossil fuel development on federal lands after a court in June ordered the government to resume drilling auctions that were paused by Biden in January.

“We are in an exciting time – and the Biden-Harris administration is taking bold action to advance clean energy to make people’s lives better and build a more sustainable future,” Haaland said. “Together, we need to set ambitious goals and commit the resources to get it done.”

The White House earlier this year set a target of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy along every U.S. coastline by 2030. That would be enough electricity to power 10 million homes.

The 30-GW goal is roughly the amount that already exists in Europe’s two-decade old industry, but is a tall order for a nation that currently has just two small offshore wind farms.

Interior permitted what is expected to be the first major U.S. offshore wind farm, the 800 megawatt Vineyard Wind project off the coast of Massachusetts, in May.