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Biden plans 30GW offshore wind expansion to power 10million homes

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

Sau Ting Kwok - Hong Kong

The Biden administration has unveiled plans to expand offshore wind energy in a move that could see turbines built along much of the US coastline.

Seven areas on both coasts and the Gulf of Mexico will be auctioned for wind farms in the next few years, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland said.

President Joe Biden pushes to reduce US fossil fuel use and expand the green energy economy.

Experts say dramatic action is needed to meet Mr Biden’s climate goals.

The wind farms are part of Mr Biden’s plan to generate 30 gigawatts (gw) of offshore wind energy – enough to power 10m homes – by 2030.

The White House approved the first commercial wind farm in the US off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts this summer.

The plan is expected to meet a backlash from some coastal and fishing communities – and it needs approval from state, local and environmental groups before any construction begins.

Commercial fishing companies have argued such offshore wind projects would make it challenging to harvest valuable seafood species, like lobsters. Some conservation groups also fear the giant turbines will kill thousands of birds and affect marine life.

Potential building sites could be crossed off the list if they harm wildlife, tourism, military activities or other commercial services.

The announcement comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference – Cop26 – which will begin in Glasgow on 31 October.

In a related announcement, the Department of Energy said it would increase research into any harmful effects that wind turbines could have on wildlife.

“For Americans living in coastal areas to see the benefits of offshore wind, we must ensure that it’s done with care for the surrounding ecosystem,″ said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.

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