New offshore wind farms, less bureaucracy and more subsidies should drive the development of renewable energy sources in the United States of America. The White House presented a package of measures on Wednesday. First and foremost is an auction process for six leased areas off the northeast coast of the country in which wind turbines with an output of 5.6 to 7 gigawatts can be erected.
The area off the coast of New York and New Jersey totals more than 1,900 square kilometers. The six parcels are to be auctioned off on February 23. North America has a lot of coastline but little offshore wind power, bringing this auction the largest auction of its kind to date will be on the continent. US President Joe Biden is importantthat the wind turbines will be built and erected domestically using domestic raw materials by unionized labour.
So that the wind turbines can be installed quickly, ports have to reserve space for assembling and preparing the huge systems. The US Department of Transportation is subsidizing this in two ports on the northeast coast with a total of almost 50 million US dollars.
No energy transition without high-voltage lines
Millions more from funds from the Federal Department of Energy and some US states flow into research into offshore wind power. With that in mind, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will work with the Office of Oceanic Energy (BOEM) to better data to make available for the preparation of wind turbines.
Environmentally friendly power generation alone is of little use if the power does not reach the consumers. This is where the US is particularly lacking: the capacity of the high-voltage lines is far from sufficient, as huge power outages have shown. The Ministry of Energy has calculated that by the end of the current decade alone they will have to be expanded by 60 percent. It will likely need to triple by 2050.
In addition, more than 70 percent of the high-voltage lines and substations are already more than 25 years old. Hence plans the Department of Energyto invest more than 20 billion dollars in the form of subsidies and loan guarantees in the high-voltage grid and smart grids. At the same time, the ministry would like to help with research, network planning and faster approval processes.
There should also be faster approvals for power plants on federally owned land. Four ministries and the Federal Environment Agency are to work together on this. The White House is offering municipalities a new app that aims to automate and speed up the approval of private solar systems on house roofs.
And rural US communities are said to benefit indirectly from this Ministry of Agriculture six universities one and a half million dollars each for projects designed to help agricultural regions adapt to climate change. In addition, the Ministry of Economics awards subsidies to regional clusters that want to expand environmentally friendly energy sources or train relevant workers.