Efforts for Energy Production from Offshore Wind Ramping Up in U.S.

renewable-energy-14439807629PSIt seems that now more than ever there is a push for clean and renewable energy in the United States and abroad. For example, President Obama met earlier this year with leaders from Mexico and Canada to discuss an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power, which includes a target of 50% electricity generation from non-polluting sources by 2025 for North America.  The year before that came California Governor Brown’s executive order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% in the next 15 years as part of an agenda to mitigate climate change. Countries abroad are reaching clean energy goals – Costa Rica reportedly generated 99% of its electricity from renewable sources in 2015.

So what are some of these renewable sources? Solar energy has been a big player in renewable energy and is likely the one that comes to mind. In 2014, California out-competed the rest of the nation by generating more than 5% of its utility-scale electricity from solar power.

Proposed wind farm location in Morrow Bay (Source: Mercury News)

Now, offshore wind energy may be up next to bat. Earlier this August, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law legislation that would require utilities to obtain a combined 1,600 megawatts of electricity from offshore wind farms in approximately 10 years. This is the nation’s biggest commitment to offshore wind energy, yet. Currently, there are no working offshore wind farms on the East Coast. California’s 8% of wind-generated electricity currently comes from turbines on land; however, one Seattle company is proposing to put in California’s first offshore wind farm off the coast of Morrow Bay. This project, proposed in 2015, may see further progress now as Governor Baker’s new energy law is suspected to give a huge boost to the offshore windy industry throughout the nation.

Is the offshore wind industry on the horizon for the Bay Area anytime soon?  While we can’t be certain of the answer, we will keep a close eye on the issue as we work to advance a strong industrial economy while maintaining a sustainable environment in the San Francisco Bay region.

 

“The Bay Planning Coalition is a non-profit organization well known for its advocacy and credibility in the San Francisco Bay Area corporate and environmental community. When we speak about an issue, legislators and regulators listen.” – John A. Coleman, CEO