U.S. officials say they will spend as much as $50.5 million to promote the growth of offshore wind energy in a push to achieve 54 gigawatts of electricity from offshore turbines by 2030.
Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said the new initiative will seek to reduce the costs of offshore wind energy, address the technical challenges associated with installation and connection to the electric grid, and streamline the regulatory and permitting process.
While there are currently no offshore wind farms in U.S. waters, federal officials have identified areas off the East Coast that could support the emerging industry. “The United States is synchronizing new research and development initiatives with more efficient, forward-thinking planning so that we can help quickly stand up an American offshore wind industry,” Salazar said.
Meanwhile, a market survey by Bloomberg New Energy Finance indicated that the cost of onshore wind power has reached record lows — and in some regions is now competitive with coal-powered electricity.