The Biden administration on Wednesday said it is committed to supporting the nascent U.S. offshore wind industry despite challenges that prompted the cancellation this week of two major planned projects off the coast of New Jersey.
The White House and Interior Department both issued statements backing the sector shortly after Denmark's Orsted said soaring cost inflation, high interest rates and supply chain bottlenecks had forced it to stop development on the projects. Expansion of offshore wind is a key pillar of President Joe Biden's plan to decarbonize the U.S. power grid and combat climate change.
"While macroeconomic headwinds are creating challenges for some projects, momentum remains on the side of an expanding U.S. offshore wind industry," White House spokesperson Michael Kikukawa said in a statement, adding that offshore wind investments have grown by $7.7 billion since passage of Biden's signature climate change law last year.
The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which oversees permitting of offshore energy development, said it was working to achieve the president's goals for the sector, which include deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030.
"While the industry is facing a variety of challenges, BOEM and its federal partners remain committed to supporting the build out of this new industry in a way that will benefit communities, strengthen our nation’s energy security, and address the climate challenge," BOEM Director Liz Klein said in a statement.
(Reuters - Reporting by Nichola Groom; editing by Jonathan Oatis)