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Offshore wind boost expected from Biden win

12th November 2020

Renewables groups welcome Democrat candidate's victory in US presidential election

The renewables industry has received a significant boost in the US with the declaration of Joe Biden as president-elect over the weekend.

Biden’s narrow victory in US elections has been welcomed by industry groups with a particular focus on offshore wind expected when he takes over the presidency in January.

The US Democrat politician is expected to bring the US back into the Paris climate agreement and set a goal for net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Earlier this year he outlined plans to spend $2 trillion in the course of his four year presidential term to escalate the use of clean energy.

“The election of President-elect Joe Biden puts the offshore wind energy industry on the precipice of substantial growth with the support of an Administration that promises to put significant focus back on renewable energy, offshore wind among the beneficiaries,” said Business Network for Offshore Wind chief executive Liz Burdock.

The trade body noted that the US offshore wind sector already has 30GW in capacity procurement commitments from East Coast states and that Biden has promised a level playing field with tax policies for clean energy technologies.

It added that it hoped for a multi-year extension of tax credits for all renewables projects and complimentary standalone battery storage and cuts to all fossil fuel subsidies.

In October US House Democrats introduced a Bill which would set a 25GW by 2030 offshore wind target, including 12.5GW by 2025.

The American Wind Energy Association said it looked forward to collaborating with Biden’s administration and Congress “as we work together to shape a cleaner and more prosperous energy future for America”.

Wood Mackenzie Americas Vice-Chair Ed Crooks added that Biden would reverse the brakes put by the Trump Administration on offshore wind and bring in more restrictions on oil and gas development which could reduce production by about 30% by 2035, relative to what could be expected if new lease sales are continued.

He added decisions on federal permits for oil and gas infrastructure projects will take into account their implications for greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, creating new hurdles for developers of oil and gas pipelines and export facilities.

Meanwhile he said Biden plans to impose tighter fuel economy standards, which will help sales of electric cars, potentially leading to 4 million EVs on US roads by 2030 although direct impact on fuel demand this decade is expected to be minimal.

He said the Biden Climate Plan also proposes an Advanced Research Projects Agency for Climate (ARPA-C), which will focus on strategies including using renewables to produce carbon-free hydrogen and decarbonization of steel, concrete and chemicals production.

Source: Renews
 

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