United States

United States

California backs plan to boost offshore targets

California officials have backed a proposal to significantly increase the state’s offshore wind goal to 5GW by 2030 and 25GW by 2045.

The California Energy Commission has backed raising the state's offshore wind targets to 5GW by 2030 and 25GW by 2045
The California Energy Commission has backed raising the state's offshore wind targets to 5GW by 2030 and 25GW by 2045

The California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the goals on August 10.

In a report earlier this year, the CEC had called for 3GW offshore by 2030 and 15GW by 2045, while California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, had suggested for 20GW by 2045 only last month.

The goals send an important signal to industry and other state and federal agencies that California is committed to being a leader on offshore wind and moving expeditiously to strengthen and diversify its clean power portfolio, said trade group Offshore Wind California (OWC).

"This is a moment for boldness," said David Hochschild, chair of the CEC, who led the hearing in Sacramento, where the CEC unanimously approved the expanded goals in the state's revised offshore wind report.

"What we do here matters far more than we realise. We have a great track record of starting big things in California, of pushing the envelope and that spreading,” he continued. “What we're doing today on offshore wind is yet another step in that proud journey. I fully support it,” he added.

Adam Stern, executive director of OWC, said: "These goals set an ambitious course and show that California is very serious about 'going big' on floating offshore wind, to drive economies of scale and generate the very substantial clean power, climate, and jobs benefits this renewable energy resource can deliver for our state. For California and offshore wind, going bigger is better." 

Liz Burdock, CEO and president of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, added: “A new clean energy industry is born as California’s new offshore wind target will unlock affordable power for tens of millions of homes in need of reliable energy. The long-term certainty of a 2045 goal will ​help build investor confidence and attract investments in ports, vessels, and offshore wind manufacturing facilities along the Pacific coast.” 

A federal auction of tracts off the California coastline will be held later this year. 

California, which is the world's fifth largest economy, aims to slash emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and to achieve state carbon neutrality by 2045.

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