United States

United States

US government plans $180m offshore push

UNITED STATES: The US government has announced a $180 million plan to fund four offshore wind projects in an effort to accelerate the country's efforts in the sector.

Energy secretary Stephen Chu... focusing on offshore
Energy secretary Stephen Chu... focusing on offshore

The plan was revealed by energy secretary Stephen Chu, who said the money would be invested over six-years. The first $20 million would be made available this year.

The Department of Energy said the programme would focus on developing new technology and reducing the cost of energy for offshore projects. However, the overall funding is subject to approval by Congress.

Speaking about the move, Chu said: "The new offshore wind-energy initiative announced today will help to catalyse the development of offshore wind in America, supporting US innovators as they seek to design and demonstrate next generation wind-energy technologies. 

"These investments are critical to ensuring that America remains competitive in this growing global industry that can drive new manufacturing, construction, installation and operation jobs across the country."

The announcement follows the Obama administration's request for 2013 funding from Congress. If Obama is re-elected the DoE budget for wind energy will increase by less than 2%, although a large proportion will be spent on offshore and reducing the cost of energy.

The request states the budget for wind-energy development will rise from $93.3 million in 2012 to $95 million. The 2013 figure is a 21% increase on 2011's figure of $78 million.

In September last year, the US government announced plans to invest $43 million in improving technology and infrastructure in the offshore wind-power sector.

Chu said the finance would come in the form of 41 projects focused on research, wind-turbine design and manufacture and infrastructure development.

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