NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) recently signed an interagency memorandum in support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s ambitious offshore wind energy goals to advance wind energy responsibly while protecting biodiversity and promoting cooperative ocean use. Offshore wind energy development plays an important role in how the U.S. is leading the charge to combat the climate crisis and build a clean energy economy and climate-ready nation.
The Administration set a goal of significantly increasing the nation’s offshore wind energy capacity. This new agreement underscores NOAA’s and BOEM’s commitment to responsibly deploy 30GW of wind energy production capacity in federal waters by 2030. The memorandum will help leverage the responsibilities, expertise and relationships of both NOAA and BOEM in support of the goal by outlining areas of cooperation and creating a framework to develop future, more detailed agreements related to specific programme areas.
Combating Climate Change and Creating New Jobs
“This agreement is powerful and timely as we face climate change head-on. It will help ensure coordination, collaboration and alignment by NOAA and BOEM at key decision points in support of the Administration’s offshore wind energy goal,” said NOAA administrator Rick Spinrad. “It will also provide specific pathways for NOAA data and services while protecting our ecosystems and marine resources.”
“We are already seeing the impacts of climate change on communities across the country and the ocean resources that we manage. Now is the time to act. Working together, we will further advance offshore wind, which can play a critical role in meeting our country’s energy needs while combating climate change and creating new family-supporting jobs,” said BOEM director Amanda Lefton. “This agreement and the collaboration between NOAA and BOEM show that fighting climate change and responsible resource management go hand-in-hand.”
The research, planning and regulatory mechanisms in the offshore wind and clean energy industry will provide for new, good paying jobs while also advancing the scientific understanding of the potential impacts of offshore wind development. Surveying, spatial modelling, mapping, oceanographic assessments and characterization of ocean regions and jurisdictional boundaries are all critical elements to the successful development of this growing industry.
Read the full memorandum and learn more about BOEM and NOAA Fisheries’ Federal Survey Mitigation Programme launched in 2021 in support of Biden-Harris Administration wind energy goals.