Investing in clean energy and thus reducing reliance on fossil fuels, especially imported, was one of the major points U.S. President Barack Obama focused on in his State of the Union address delivered on January 12.
Obama said the country needs to accelerate the transition away from “dirtier” energy sources and increase its level of commitment in developing clean energy sources.
“Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history,” Obama said. “And meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly 60 percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.”
“Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future,” the U.S. President said as, according to national media, Obama administration is set to announce a moratorium on new coal leases.
“Now, none of this is going to happen overnight. And, yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, the planet we’ll preserve – that is the kind of future our kids and our grandkids deserve. And it’s within our grasp,” Obama concluded.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE), the country has 69,471MW of installed wind capacity (as of October 2015), however, this refers to wind farms on land.
The U.S. has more than 4,000 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind potential in state and federal waters along its coasts, including the Great Lakes, according to data on technical resource potential published on DoE’s website. Even though all of this potential will not be developed, the magnitude represents a substantial opportunity to generate electricity near coastal high-density population centers, DoE said.
The country’s first offshore wind farm is currently under construction. Deepwater Wind, the company behind the project, completed the first offshore construction season for the Block Island offshore wind farm after installing all five foundations in December 2015, and will continue this spring with submarine cable installation.
The five offshore wind turbines are set to be installed in the summer, and the project is scheduled to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year.
Offshore WIND Staff