Biden Scaled-Back Proposal For Atlantic Offshore Wind Prompts Criticism

"Environmental advocates and industry groups pointed out that any reduction in leasing area would make clean energy and emissions reduction targets more difficult to achieve."

"The Biden administration’s latest lease offering for offshore wind projects doesn’t allocate adequate acreage for Maryland and other mid-Atlantic states to achieve their legally binding emissions reduction and clean energy targets, industry groups and environmental advocates say. They believe the offering also further hobbles the offshore wind industry, which already faces supply constraints, a lack of new tax credits and high interest rates.

A dedicated part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the proposed lease was announced on Tuesday by the Interior Department and includes one area off Delaware and Maryland and another situated off Virginia, totalling almost 278,000 acres. The two areas can potentially support 4 to 8 gigawatts of renewable energy, according to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

But dropped from the proposal is an area totalling 78,285 acres, called B-1 in administrative shorthand, located nearly 24 miles off Ocean City, Maryland, which was listed among the sites BOEM finalized in July, apparently because of concerns expressed by the Coast Guard, the Defense Department and other agencies.

Under its new law mandating development of renewable energy, Maryland alone must produce 8.5 gigawatts from offshore wind by 2031."

Aman Azhar reports for Inside Climate News December 16, 2023.

Source: Inside Climate News, 12/20/2023