The California Energy Commission (CEC) announced a series of goals to dramatically scale the stated renewable energy capacity through the deployment of offshore wind. The new goals include reaching 2 to 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045.

Achieving the long-term goal would deliver enough renewable electricity to power 25 million homes by mid-century.

CEC Chair David Hochschild, said:

“These ambitious yet achievable goals are an important signal of how committed California is to bringing the offshore wind industry to our state. This remarkable resource will generate clean electricity around the clock and help us transition away from fossil fuel-based energy as quickly as possible while ensuring grid reliability.”

The new targets were adopted in a report by the CEC, responding to a state directive to “evaluate and quantify the maximum feasible capacity of offshore wind to achieve reliability, ratepayer, employment, and decarbonization benefits” and to establish offshore wind planning goals for 2030 and 2045. The initiative is part of California’s policy to transition its electricity system to 100% renewable and zero-carbon energy sources by 2045.

According to the CEC, with some of the best offshore wind resources in the country, California has the potential to become carbon neutral and achieve 100% clean electricity, with offshore providing an essential renewable energy source at night that complements solar energy by day.

Next steps for the CEC following the publication of the report include studying the economic benefits of offshore wind in relation to seaport investments and workforce development needs, and creating a roadmap to develop a permitting process for offshore wind energy facilities and associated electricity and transmission infrastructure. The entire plan is set to be submitted to the Legislature by June next year.

CEC Vice Chair Siva Gunda, said:

“The success of our state’s climate goals requires all-hands-on deck and we are committed to ongoing consultation with other agencies and those most impacted by the scale-up needed to achieve 100 percent clean electricity.”

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