In a recent article, we discussed whether nuclear power plants can be sited on the sites of coal-fired power plants in the US. But nuclear power is not the only form of clean energy that the US wants to pursue. Another area where major investment is headed is floating offshore wind farms.
Why floating wind farms?
Floating wind farms are a relatively new technology. It is primarily intended to be used where the water is too deep for conventional fixed installations. In the US, this could be for example the coasts of Oregon, Maine or even California.
The US wants to reach up to 15 gigawatts of floating wind capacity by 2035. This would provide power to approximately 5 million homes. However, the technology is now in its infancy and so large investments are needed for further development.
So the Department of Energy will allocate nearly $50 million for further research and development of this technology. Not only does it want to reach the aforementioned capacity by 2035, but it has also set a goal of reducing the cost of building floating wind farms by up to 70%. If this were to be achieved, the price per megawatt hour for these plants would be around the projected $45.
The US a world leader in the industry?
White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy said.
“The U.S. can become a world leader in floating offshore wind and bring offshore wind jobs to more parts of our country, including the West Coast.”
The effort is part of the Energy Department’s “Energy Earthshots” initiatives to encourage innovation in new clean technologies such as energy storage and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or hydrogen. We would highlight hydrogen because it is an option that has been talked about in Europe recently.