Seven Policies to Unleash the Potential of U.S. Offshore Wind for a Green Recovery

On August 31, 2020, Forbes published an article outlining several policy recommendations to support the U.S. offshore wind sector. It is based on a recent policy brief by climate policy think tank Energy Innovation. In the Forbes article, author Amanda Myers first presents the main benefits and opportunities of offshore wind in the U.S., highlighting that “offshore wind could generate $166 billion in new investment and $1.7 billion in U.S. Treasury revenue by 2022, while supporting 80,000 jobs annually by 2035.” Offshore wind represents a low-cost way to reduce emissions and meet climate goals. The article then presents seven policy recommendations fostering the use of offshore wind:

  • Establishing and ramping up offshore wind procurement targets, aligned with geographic potential.
  • Creating competitive procurement processes through (1) power purchase agreements or (2) offshore wind renewable energy certificates.
  • Extending the federal offshore wind investment tax credit and converting it to direct payments.
  • Creating an offshore transmission backbone, especially improving interstate transmission in Northeastern states.
  • Pre-approving the siting for leasable land.
  • Establishing offshore wind port infrastructure.

The author urges policy-makers to include offshore wind investments and policies in their COVID-19 green recovery plans:

“Offshore wind is dramatically declining in cost, significantly growing in capacity, and offers strong value to our grid. We know which policies and investments will elicit offshore wind development. We learned from the 2008 economic crisis that the clean energy industry holds the key to job creation and long-term growth. Let’s use this opportunity to invest in a promising industry to support our economy, workforce, and climate commitments.”