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Joe Biden launches initative to boost US offshore wind energy by 50%

Having lagged behind Europe in championing renewable energies for years, the US is set to double its offshore wind production before 2030.

Joe Biden’s electoral campaign relied heavily on talk of grandiose climate change solutions, and it appears his administration is already making good on them.

High on the agenda of Biden’s constituency is doubling the nation’s offshore wind production by 2030, a proposition that had stalled repeatedly under Trump’s tenure. With previous plans over the last decade knocked back by waterfront landowners, protecting the climate is finally atop the list of considerations.

This week, the Interior Department – a federal agency responsible for US natural resources and government owned land – gave Biden the green light to build the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm.

Located 12 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, near Cape Cod, this huge scale operation is set to kick-start a national overhaul of renewable energies and thousands of (highly paid) jobs touted by Biden. Welcome to the party America.

Currently, the only two existing US wind farms operate at 30 megawatts and 12 megawatts off the coasts of Rhode Island and Virginia respectively. At an unprecedented 800 megawatts however, this project will produce enough clean energy alone to eliminate 1.68 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – equivalent to removing 325,000 cars off the road.

Provided the build passes its final environmental inspection, the $2.8 billion Vineyard Wind farm will be run by energy firms Avangrid Renewables and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Between them they will aim to transfer power from the 84 turbines to over 400,000 homes, through cables buried six feet below the ocean floor feeding into the New England power grid.

Further ashore than ‘Cape Wind,’ a previous Massachusetts wind project that failed amid opposition from the Kennedy family and businessman William Koch, Vineland Wind aims to consider all offshore industries with its design. Its state-of-the-art turbines will be separated by a nautical mile each way allowing for fishing boats to continue along established East Coast transit lanes.

On the verge of receiving its final approval, the sizeable venture will long way to revolutionising the power sector in Massachusetts. Having pledged to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, America’s most populous state continues to generate two-thirds of its electricity from fossil fuels.

It’s clear to see then why Biden is pushing for drastic change just months into his administration.

In a broader sense, the US has lagged behind Europe for some time when it comes to promoting renewable forms of electricity – especially when talking offshore wind – but Interior Department official Laura Daniel Davis claims, ‘the United States is poised to become a global clean energy leader,’ spurred by a new focus on offshore wind energy.

With promising reports showing that Europe is currently more reliant on renewable energies than those created by fossil fuels, it’s exciting to see the US elevating its efforts to bring emissions down.

If Davis’ predictions have any tangible bearing, we’ll have a far greater chance of reaching our 2030 targets.


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