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World outlook orld outlook


Power up


Following huge leaps forward in wind energy production in Europe and China, the US is now primed to follow in their footsteps as its government announces an ambitious set of targets for offshore wind. Abi Millar speaks to Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association, and Professor Barbara Kates-Garnick of Tufts University about what the Biden administration needs to do to get there.


D


uring President Trump’s term in the White House, the US wind sector endured a bumpy ride. Although development continued apace, building on the momentum generated by the Obama administration, the president himself was notoriously hostile towards wind power. Few can forget his claims about wind turbines – that “the noise causes cancer”, that they generate more emissions than gas, or that they “kill all the birds”. The sector, then, saw an upturn in its fates when President Joe Biden announced an ambitious set of renewables goals. One of Biden’s first moves as president was to rejoin the Paris Agreement, effectively ending an era of climate change denialism. He went on to lay out a clean energy plan that would usher in millions of new jobs, as


8


well as greening the electric grid and mopping up pollution from fossil fuels.


Then, on 29 March, the administration announced a plan to boost the use of offshore wind along the eastern coast. The plan sets a target of 30GW of offshore wind by 2030, which would power up to ten million homes for a year, and avoid 78 million tons of CO2


emissions. It would also create


tens of thousands of jobs and trigger more than $12bn a year in capital investment. “As an industry, we couldn’t be more excited about President Biden’s announcements,” says Heather Zichal, CEO of the American Clean Power Association (ACP). “I would say with the announcements, the impending decision on the first commercial scale project, increasingly ambitious


World Wind Technology / www.worldwind-technology.com


Pilotsevas/Shutterstock.com


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