United States

United States

US gov't announces $180m offshore push

UNITED STATES: The US government has announced a $180 million plan to fund four offshore wind projects in an effort to accelerate the country's efforts to develop an offshore sector

The plan was revealed by US energy secretary Stephen Chu, who said the money would be invested over six years. The first $20 million will be made available this year. However, overall funding is subject to approval by Congress.

Funding will focus on developing new technology and reducing the cost of energy for offshore projects. The money will be channelled via 41 projects, which will include research into wind turbine design and manufacture, and infrastructure development.

Speaking about the plan, Chu said: "The new offshore wind energy initiative announced today will help to catalyse the development of offshore wind in America, supporting US innovators as they seek to design and demonstrate next generation wind energy technologies. These investments are critical to ensuring that America remains competitive in this growing global industry that can drive new manufacturing, construction, installation and operation jobs across the country".

The announcement follows the Obama administration's request for 2013 funding from Congress. If Obama is re-elected the DoE budget for wind energy will increase by less than 2%, with a large proportion to be spent on offshore wind and reducing the cost of energy.

The request states that the budget for wind energy development will rise from $93.3 million in 2012 to $95 million. The 2013 figure is a 21% increase on 2011's figure of $78 million. In September last year, the US government announced plans to invest $43 million toward encouraging improvements in offshore wind technology and infrastructure.

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