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President Biden signs climate change legislation

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 17/08/2022 White House

US President Joe Biden has signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a legislative package that aims to tackle inflation and climate change. It includes $369 billion in planned investments to advance America’s clean energy programs, including offshore wind development, in an effort to reduces emissions 40% by 2030.

The IRA includes several provisions aimed at supporting offshore wind development including investment and expanding tax credits to incentives US production.

At the signing of the legislative packed, President Biden remarked: "This new law also provides tax credits that’s going to create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and clean energy manufacturing jobs, solar factories in the Midwest and the South, wind farms across the plains and off our shores, clean hydrogen projects and more — all across America, every part of America.

"This bill is the biggest step forward on climate ever — ever — and it’s going to allow — it’s going to allow us to boldly take additional steps toward meeting all of my climate goals — the ones we set out when we ran."

Liz Burdock, president and CEO of the Business Network for Offshore Wind commented: “The world is fully embracing offshore wind and racing ahead to deploy 260 GW by 2030; the IRA is the policy certainty required to build a U.S. offshore wind industry ready to compete in and win the race in global offshore wind development.

“One year ago, the Business Network, the only non-profit dedicated solely to growing the U.S. offshore wind industry and its supply chain, called for a National Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy that would accelerate supply chain development required to meet the national goal of 30 GW by 2030 and transform the U.S. into an internationally competitive player. At its core, the strategy pairs greater market certainty with targeted investments in manufacturing, shipbuilding, port development, and transmission. The IRA and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) advances many of these policy recommendations, complementing efforts by the Biden-Harris administration to support the offshore wind industry.

“Together, the IRA and the IIJA will lure investment away from expanding Asian and European markets and unlock a U.S. domestic supply chain capable of sustaining a 110 GW plus U.S. offshore wind market and maximizing economic development.

“We applaud Congress and the Biden-Harris administration for taking bold action to increase clean energy production at home and making the United States more competitive on the global stage, creating tens of thousands of well-paying jobs in the process.”

Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, said:  “With the stroke of the pen, a clean energy future is now the law of the land. This does for climate change and clean energy what the creation of Social Security did for America’s senior citizens. This law will put millions more Americans to work, ensure clean, renewable and reliable domestic energy is powering every American home, and save American consumers money.   

For our industry, it’s the starting gun for a period of regulatory certainty which will triple the size of the U.S. clean energy industry and generate over $900 billion in economic activity through construction of new clean energy projects.  

We commend President Biden, Senator Schumer, Speaker Pelosi, and the leaders and members of Congress who took this bold step. They’re on the right side of history.” 

The US government has a national goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030. This effort is expected to support approximately around 80,000 jobs in industry and surrounding communities, generate electricity to power over 10 million American homes. According to DOE, achieving this goal will result in an expected $12 billion in annual investment in offshore wind projects, which in turn can lead to the construction of up to 10 manufacturing plants for offshore wind turbine components and new ships to install the turbines.

Offshore wind is taking off in the US, particularly the east coast,  with a number of offshore wind projects are proposed off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Maine and the Carolinas. So far, only two projects have hit the water,
Block Island which was commissioned in 2017 followed by Coastal Virginia in 2020. Vineyard Wind 1, poised to be the first commercial scale offshore wind project in the United States, is expected to start offshore construction this year with first power slated for 2023 ahead of commissioning in 2024. Other States such as California, Louisiana and Oregon are also investigation offshore wind potential, including floating developments.

Image: Source Gage Skidmore


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