On a High Note: Offshore Wind at "An Inflection Point" in the US
The New York Bight, an almost 500,000-acre area of land off the Long Island and New Jersey coast, is on track to become the site of a new offshore wind infrastructure project of unprecedented scale. The land is currently up for auction by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). But once leased and developed, it will generate enough clean energy to power approximately 2 million homes. In a statement, Department of the Interior Secretary Deb Haaland called this move "an inflection point for domestic offshore wind energy development" and a "once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight climate change and create good-paying union jobs."
Indeed, renewable energy is making massive strides. In 2021, the US installed 27.7 gigawatts (GW) of utility-scale clean power, pushing the country’s total clean energy capacity above 200 GW. Worldwide, renewables currently comprise 95% of new power generation capacity and are expected to surpass fossil fuel power by 2026. Alongside the Biden Administration's recently announced clean energy plan, which includes a goal to add 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, the expansion of clean power is hopefully a continuing trend.
The potential environmental impact of the project remains uncertain, as VICE reports. The New York Bight is home to a variety of marine wildlife classified as "threatened” or "endangered," and the project is currently facing opposition from the non-profit Save Long Beach Island. BOEM has pledged to conduct a comprehensive environmental review” throughout each step of the project.
TED: How do wind turbines work?, April 22, 2021.
CNBC: The Rise Of Wind Power In The US, March 10, 2021.
TODAY: Off-Shore Wind Farms Provide Promising Roadmap For More Clean Energy, September 19, 2021.