Offshore wind for a clean energy economy
Offshore wind presents a golden opportunity to fuel our clean energy economy, help environmental justice communities, and to become energy independent from fossil fuels.
As we transition to electric vehicles the need for more electricity to power them will grow exponentially. Offshore wind will be critical to supply enough electric energy for millions of electric vehicles.
Offshore wind has the potential to provide more than 2,000 gigawatts (GW) of electric energy in the United States — at least two times the present generation of the entire U.S. electric grid, according to a National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimate. The sheer size of the resource illustrates the critical contribution that offshore wind can make toward an energy system powered by 100% clean renewable energy.
Offshore wind could be the biggest lever that we can pull to reduce our emissions, address the climate crisis, meet our energy needs, and grow our economy simultaneously. It’s poised to become a $1 trillion industry by 2040, creating thousands of good-paying jobs, providing clean renewable energy, and spurring economic growth with environmental justice.
The U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Impact Assessment states that offshore wind is forecasted to create nearly 83,000 jobs across an estimated 74 occupations in the U.S. by 2030, with over 23,000 of those jobs being permanent, full-time jobs that will exist once the projects are fully constructed and operational. These jobs include electricians, welders, turbine technicians, longshoremen, truck drivers, crane operators, ironworkers, pipefitters, pile drivers, engineers, mechanics, scientists, as well as offshore equipment and vessel operators.
While the Biden administration has jump-started offshore wind development, infusing coastal states and the industry with confidence, their goal of 30 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and 15 gigawatts of floating offshore wind energy by 2035 will easily be met with current offshore wind projects in development.
The climate crisis urgency -
Even with the Inflation Reduction Act’s (IRA’s) unprecedented $370 billion clean energy investments in our security, health, and prosperity, we still have a way to go to meet the 50% emission reduction goal by 2030 that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we must in order to avoid extreme weather and climate disasters becoming the norm. Offshore wind can be key in reaching that goal.
Investing in offshore wind port infrastructure in coastal states is critical. At least nine major component facilities are in development to make the foundations, towers, cables and blades used in offshore wind turbines across the U.S.A. While the IRA and Infrastructure Act provide funds, much more will be essential.
Job training opportunities will lift up environmental justice, as the Biden administration Justice40 policy mandates 40% of all federal funding for climate change initiatives go to these communities.
Energy Independence -
The need to accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy economy is great, for without it the American public will continue to be subjected to oil and gas increases when the industry deems, not when is necessary. In the 1970s, Americans suffered financially during an oil crisis because OPEC countries limited supplies and prices skyrocketed. It is happening all over again with new and old players. The end result has been the same— consumers pay increased prices, while fossil fuel companies continue to make record profits from price gouging using inflation and the war in Ukraine as false excuses.
“It is immoral for oil and gas companies to be making record profits from this energy crisis on the backs of the poorest people and communities, at a massive cost to the climate,” said Antionio Guterres, U.N. Secretary General, in the Washington Post.
The faster we develop offshore wind as a major clean energy resource the faster we will ensure our security and independence as a clean energy economy. We must focus on energy independence from fossil fuels for our health and security. Our future and our humanity depend on it.
EOPA is asking for:
Offshore wind is needed to supply enough electric energy to millions of electric vehicles.
We started in New Jersey by organizing frontline leaders to invest in clean, modern, and resilient transportation infrastructure that creates jobs and reduces pollution.
Now, we are focused on updating the EPA’s vehicle standards and the deployment of electric vehicles with their infrastructure, as well as a major offshore wind push.
In 2022, Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order to ramp up New Jersey’s offshore wind goal to 11 gigawatts of electricity by 2040, enough to supply roughly 10 million homes for one year. New Jersey currently has the highest offshore wind power generating goal on the East Coast. View our N.J. Leadership Council here. For more on our N.J. work visit here.
If you’re a current or former N.J. elected official please sign our offshore wind letter.
In December of 2022, we held an offshore wind summit in Sacramento at the California Energy Commission. We highlighted the need for these floating offshore wind farms for the state to become energy independent from fossil fuels. California is the seventh largest U.S. fossil fuel producer, yet gas prices are more than twice that of other states.
California, with a goal of 25 gigawatts by 2045, has the largest offshore wind commitment in the U.S.A. California will deploy deep-ocean floating turbines, similar to those deployed in European waters. The current leased areas off of Morro Bay and Humboldt County in California will generate 4.5 gigawatts and power 1.6 million homes.
Starting in 2017, we have successfully encouraged Governor Newsom to end fracking and put in safety zones around oil wells, ramp up EV use and start offshore wind with our statewide network of hundreds of elected officials. View our CA Leadership Council here. If you’re a current or former CA elected official please sign our offshore wind letter.
The responsible development of offshore wind is key to meet the state’s climate and equity goals.
According to New York’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA) at least 70% of the state’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2030 and the development of 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy must happen by 2035. The CLCPA makes sure jobs for frontline communities in the manufacturing, development, and generation of offshore wind power and requires 35% of benefits to go to underserved communities.
Our efforts began in New York State, where we organized over a thousand elected officials to strongly encourage Governor Cuomo to ban fracking. Since that ban was established in 2014, we have worked with elected officials across the state on fossil-fuel divestment, on funding for renewables, electrification of buildings, offshore wind power, and the state’s Climate Action Plan. View our N.Y. Leadership Council here.
As the world experiences drastic environmental disruption due to climate change, the increasing lack of fresh water is causing conflicts around the globe. But there is hope. Real solutions are already making a difference across the country and world.
Maine has large land wind farms, community solar power projects and is developing cutting edge offshore floating wind platforms at the University of Maine. This gives the state the potential to export clean energy for the Eastern seaboard. Innovation, research and development grants and American ingenuity will see the state take a lead in offshore wind development.
Already, Dr. Habib Dagher and his team at the University of Maine have designed and built America’s first floating offshore wind turbine VolturnUS. This 1:8 sized prototype successfully sent electric energy to the grid. A full-scale model of an 11-megawatt floating facility that builds on the lessons learned from VolturnUS will be known as the New England Aqua Ventus I project, which will be operational by 2024 off the coast of Maine for more than 20 years.
The video is a production of our media arm – Code Blue Water Solutions funded with a State Department grant.