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Biden Administration Plans 12 Offshore Wind Auctions by 2028

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Wednesday a new five-year offshore wind leasing schedule, which includes up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales through 2028.

These offshore wind auctions are planned to be held in the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, and the waters offshore the U.S. territories, the Interior Department said in a statement.

Under the new five-year leasing schedule, four offshore lease sales could be held this year, one each in 2025 and 2026, two in 2027, and four in 2028.

So far, the Department has approved more than 10 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy from offshore wind projects, enough to power nearly 4 million American homes.

The offshore lease sales are part of the Biden Administration’s plans to boost offshore wind and other forms of renewable energy to make the grid greener and cut emissions. The Administration plans a zero-emission grid by 2035.

Earlier this week, U.S. President Joe Biden announced $7 billion in grants to help more than 900,000 low-income households install residential solar power.

Commenting on the offshore wind lease schedule, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said, “Our offshore wind leasing schedule will provide predictability to help developers and communities plan ahead and will provide the confidence needed to continue building on the tremendous offshore wind supply chain and manufacturing investments that we’ve already seen.”

However, the U.S. offshore wind sector has experienced a difficult year with project costs soaring and plans canceled.

Last month, Germany’s biggest utility RWE said at the CERAWeek conference that offshore wind development costs are 30% higher in the United States than they are in Europe.

Renewable energy projects and emerging low-carbon technologies are more exposed to the current high-interest rate environment globally, which could slow the pace of transition to clean energy, Wood Mackenzie said in a report last week.

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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