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U.S approves a mega offshore wind farm: new Vineyard project


About Wind Energy project

Joe Biden's administration has approved construction of the first large-scale offshore wind farm in the United States.

 With 84 turbines to be erected off the coa9st of Massachusetts.

The approval of the project, which will generate about 800 megawatts of energy, enough to power about 400,000 homes and businesses.

It is a boost to Biden's agenda to increase renewable energy production in the U.S. to address climate change.

U.S approves a mega offshore wind farm: Wind Energy

The U.S. lags behind other countries in offshore wind, despite its long coastline, but the Biden administration said the new Vineyard Wind project.

It will be the first of many as it aims to generate 30 gigawatts of power from offshore wind by 2030.

Two other offshore projects proposals, located in New York, are also under consideration.

Wind Energy project capacity

"A clean energy future is within our reach in the United States," said Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior.

 “Approval of this project is a critical step toward achieving the administration's goals of creating good-paying union jobs.

While it will be combating climate change and moving our country forward.

The $2.8 billion Wind Energy project is a joint venture between energy companies Iberdrola and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.

For its location, it will be based about 12 nautical miles off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

The administration said the project will provide 3,600 new job opportunities.

The head of Iberdrola's global offshore wind business, Jonathan Cole said the U.S. government's approval for Vineyard Wind was the latest.

 "Watershed moment" in the project for the U.S. offshore wind industry.

Main objectives of offshore wind farm

Industry observers in 2018 were surprised by the project setting a record price at a government auction to procure power.

The lower-than-expected price, combined with its size, showed that offshore wind "would grow faster than anyone thought.

It is bigger than anyone thought and cheaper than anyone thought," Cole said.

"A key part of President Biden's energy plan is to scale up offshore wind as a central part of the U.S. decarbonization plan.

But the Vineyard project is really kicking the industry off on the right track.

It's a very important moment for what will be a really exciting market," Cole said.

The joint venture expects to make a final investment decision on the project within a few months.

It will begin construction of the offshore wind farm later this year so it can begin producing clean electricity by 2024.

"We've seen the potential in the U.S. for many years, and we have a fairly large pipeline of projects totaling 7,000 megawatts.

That we're working on off the coast of Massachusetts or the coast of North Carolina. Vineyard is the first of many," Cole said.

"U.S. states, particularly in the Northeast, have put in place offshore wind targets and legislated offshore wind procurement processes.

But under the new administration, there is much better alignment between the federal government and the U.S.

In terms of the potential for offshore wind," Cole said.

This project comes after the climate summit and the main polluters in the world to give pride of place to renewable energy.

The biggest polluters at the Climate Summit

The two biggest polluters on the planet will meet on Thursday at a summit on climate change.

Indeed, last March, Joe Biden invited about forty world leaders for a meeting on climate change, including five African heads of state.

The countries participated are Felix Tshisekedi, DRC, Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria, and Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa.

Who will be able to defend the interests of the continent, which is particularly affected by climate change.

This will be an opportunity to look at the two biggest polluters in the world, since Xi Jinping, the Chinese head of state.

It has confirmed his participation in the event.

This will be the first Sino-American tête-à-tête since the icy discussions in Alaska.

Moreover, the meeting is visibly an opportunity for the Americans to mark their return to the climate file.

And that is after having left the 2015 climate agreement under the Trump administration.

An agreement that Biden joined upon his inauguration.

The climate "consensus

The new tenant of the White House seems to be more interested than his predecessor in climate issues.

With a recovery plan that wants to give pride of place to renewable energy.

For Beijing and Washington, the climate is also one of the few points on which they are willing to agree, and "peacefully" use their influence.

Chinese diplomacy is already announcing an "important" speech by Xi Jinping.

These giant maneuvers are taking place on the bangs of other, much less polluting nations.

As a reminder, according to the Statistical Review of World Energy, China alone is responsible for emissions of 9.8 million tons of CO2 in 2019.

And that is 28.7% of global emissions (34.1 million tons), and the United States of 4.9 million tons or 14.36% of emissions.

India, comes behind, with 2.4 million tons of CO2 emitted, to close this gray top three.

In comparison, in the same year, the CO2 emissions of the entire African continent represented 1.3 million tons, or less than 4% of global emissions.

New objectives all around

For the rest, the proceedings quickly became a fair of promises and new climate objectives for 2030...or 2050.

In a display of good will, the American Biden called the world to "action".

That’s promising a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States of 50% to 52% by 2030 compared to 2005.

This objective is very similar to that of the European Union, which has set a target of "at least 55%" reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions.

Especially, by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, following an agreement reached just a few hours before the summit.

The Canadians, who are more modest, are counting on a 40-45% reduction by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels), compared to 30% previously.

Japan's Yoshihide Suga has also gone beyond the original targets, promising a 46% reduction in Japan's emissions by 2030, up from 26%.

China, the world's largest polluter, is promising carbon neutrality by 2060.

President Xi Jinping even said he was "determined to work with the international community, and in particular the United States" on this issue.

The next major climate meeting should be at the end of the year, during the COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

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