Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) has called for California to bump up its offshore wind target to at least 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2045, accelerating its 20 GW target by five years.
The state’s current offshore wind targets are 15 GW of installed capacity by 2045 and 20 GW by 2050.
And to put that into a national context, the Biden administration set a target of 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 for the entire US.
In a July 22 letter to the chair of the California Air Resources Board, Newsom wrote about the deployment of offshore wind:
California is home to one of the world’s best offshore wind resources in the world and I am confident that this clean, domestic source of electricity can play an important role in meeting our state’s growing need for clean energy. The challenges of our time demand bold action today and rigorous and inclusive planning to maximize our potential over the long-term. That is why I am asking the California Energy Commission to establish a planning goal of at least 20 GW by 2045 in the AB 525 process and to work with our federal partners to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind and account for the needs of all those who use and care about California’s precious coastal resources. Together we can build a vibrant offshore wind industry in California that will help reduce air pollution, increase energy independence, and provide new economic opportunities to Californians while protecting the natural legacy of our coastline.
Newsom called for the revised goal to be established through the California Energy Commission. The letter also called for clean buildings, moving away from fossil fuels, tackling methane leaks, and carbon removal.
He also announced the launch of a new climate dashboard that tracks state climate action and progress toward key targets. It states that in 2020, 59% of California’s total electricity generation came from non-fossil-fuel sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, and nuclear.
California law requires the procurement of 60% of all state electricity from clean energy sources by 2030 and 100% from carbon-free sources by 2045.
In May 2021, the Biden administration announced that the US Pacific Coast would be open to commercial-scale offshore clean energy projects for the first time. Floating offshore wind technology will need to be utilized off the California coast because the continental shelf falls away quickly, into deep waters.
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