This week saw US politicians taking action to encourage offshore wind energy along the US Atlantic Coast.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a new initiative dubbed ‘Smart from the Start’ with the purpose of selecting the best sites for offshore wind farms. The initiative is based on regulatory change designed to speed up the permitting and leasing of offshore wind sites leading to speedier wind farm delivery.
Green jobs and a stake in the offshore wind economy appear to be the main motivators. Salazar said:
“If we are wise with our planning, we can help build a robust and environmentally responsible offshore renewable energy program that creates jobs here at home.”
American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode said:
“AWEA applauds Secretary Salazar for his leadership in offshore wind. Efforts to rationalize the multi-step permitting process for offshore wind projects are essential for Eastern states to be able to take advantage of this excellent resource. As the pipeline of projects begin to move forward more rapidly, the environmental and economic benefits of offshore wind, including manufacturing facilities and associated jobs, can be realized.”