Photo Credit: Slaunger via Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
And the federal invest-a-thon in clean technologies continues -- first a smidgen for solar, then a huge boost for high speed rail, and now, a decent investment in offshore wind. The Obama administration announced plans to sink $50.5 million into research and development for offshore wind power over the next five years, as well as outlined sites for future farms. The aim is to create 10 gigawatts of capacity by 2020 -- here's how they're planning on doing it: Via the LA Times:
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paired up Monday to announce a new game plan that will set up a network of wind turbines off the Eastern seaboard potentially by the end of the year. The government will offer $50.5 million in funding for research and development over the next five years and identified potential sites on the outer continental shelf off of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia.And while there are still considerable obstacles to realizing large-scale offshore wind farms -- we all know them by now: high costs, transmission difficulties, etc -- the Obama admin boys said that they'll be ready to start issuing leases for the farms as soon as the end of this year.
Wind projects in those areas will probably enjoy a fast-tracked permitting process. The agencies also plan to pinpoint similar areas off Massachusetts, Rhode Island and North Carolina this spring.
This is all a part of Obama's stated goal of powering 80% of America with clean energy by 2035 -- and it's more good news indeed. Good news in the form of baby steps that should have been taken years ago, but good news nonetheless.
More on Offshore Wind Power in the US
Breaking: US Approves First Offshore Wind Farm
Proposed Rhode Island Offshore Wind Farm Jumps To 1000 MW