Energy Sector:Offshore Wind, Hydrogen
Region/Province:Western Coast, Eastern Coast, Texas
The U.S. government has given a head start to clean energy as an effort to tackle climate crisis and achieve climate targets:
- Reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030
- Reaching 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035
- Achieving a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
Today, the clean energy industry offers a significant opportunity for economic and societal development in the United States. It can help generate high volumes of investments, create good-paying jobs, and restore U.S. technological leadership.
Currently, the operating wind, solar and energy storage in the United States amounts to more than 227 GW. The renewables make up already one fifth of the country’s power generation, supplying 61 million households across America with clean power.
Clean energy is also a key driver to creating jobs and investments. Approx. 443,000 are employed in the industry and $434 billion of capital has been invested in the wind, solar and energy storage projects. Texas is ranked first among all states in terms of installed renewables capacity.
With nearly 70,000 wind turbines and a total of nearly 140 GW, wind power is America’s largest source of renewable electricity generation, providing 10.2% of the country’s power that can meet the consumption needs of 43 million homes in the United States.
In 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration launched new actions to expand offshore wind energy in the United States. It set an ambitious goal of deploying 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, create 83,000 jobs, foster new investments, and support local supply chain. The strong political willingness and support provide a high sense of optimism and confidence both for the states and the offshore wind businesses.
Since then, states across America have established nearly 7,4 GW of offshore wind procurement targets. In particular, US states on the Eastern Coast (New York, Virginia, Massachusetts, and North Carolina) are the first movers in accelerating the development of offshore wind. The huge population and high demand for electricity, ideal wind conditions and seabed depths suitable for fixed-bottom foundations, these are the main reasons why Eastern states are leading the way.
European and German companies such as Ørsted, RWE and Equinor have achieved success in the first offshore lease auctions to develop offshore wind farms. REH’s member RWE has secured an area in the New York and California auction respectively. The project in New York is set to install a capacity of about 3 GW by 2030. And in California, RWE is going to build its first commercial floating offshore wind farm with up to 1,6 GW by the mid-2030. Most recently, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced the intent to build a manufacturing facility for offshore wind turbine nacelle in the New York region.
The abundance of renewable sources represents an excellent condition for renewable hydrogen production. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program (H2Hubs) will receive up to $7 billion to establish 6-10 regional hydrogen hubs across America. The H2Hubs form the basis of a national network of clean hydrogen producers, consumers and connective infrastructure located in close proximity. They will contribute to significantly lowering the costs associated with the production, distribution and use of clean hydrogen that aligns with the targets set by the US Department of Energy: production of 10 million metric tons of clean hydrogen by 2030, 20 million by 2040 and 50 million by 2050.
Overall, they will help reduce 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from end-uses each year—an amount roughly equivalent to the combined annual emissions of 5.5 million gasoline-powered cars. The tremendous benefits of clean hydrogen are also seen in decarbonizing heavy industries (such as steel, cement and chemical sectors) and heavy-duty transportation. Furthermore, it is expected that more than $40 billion of private investments will be generated and tens of thousands of good-paying jobs will be created.
The first selected seven regional clean hydrogen hubs have been announced in November 2023 by the President Joe Biden.
Appalachian Hydrogen Hub (ARCH2)
West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania
Production of clean hydrogen through natural gas and storage of associated carbon emissions, development of hydrogen pipelines and fueling stations.
California Hydrogen Hub (ARCHES)
Production of hydrogen exclusively from renewable energy and biomass, decarbonization of public transportation, heavy-duty trucking and port operations.
Gulf Coast Hydrogen Hub (HyVelocity H2Hub)
Large-scale hydrogen production using both natural gas with carbon capture and renewable-powered electrolysis.
Heartland Hydrogen Hub
Minnesota, North Dakota
Decarbonization of the agricultural sector’s production of fertilizer, use of clean hydrogen in electricity generation and space heating
Mid-Atlantic Hydrogen Hub (MACH2)
Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey
Repurpose of historic oil infrastructure and using existing ones, renewable hydrogen production from renewable and nuclear electricity using both established and innovative electrolyzer technologies
Midwest Hydrogen Hub (MACH2)
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan
Using hydrogen to decarbonize steel, glass production, power generation, refining, heavy-duty transportation, produce sustainable aviation fuel.
Pacific Northwest Hydrogen Hub (PNW H2)
Washington, Oregon, Montana
Production of clean hydrogen exclusively via electrolysis
U.S. Germany Climate and Energy Partnership
In July 2021, the government of Germany and the United States launched the Climate and Energy Partnership with the aim of intensifying cooperation in the field of energy and climate, more specifically in the following three key areas:
- accelerating climate action to ensure net-zero future,
- developing and deploying technologies to speed the energy transition, and
- promoting ambitious climate policies and energy security in third countries.
Within the scope of the partnership, working groups on hydrogen, offshore wind energy and zero-emission vehicles and cooperation with third countries have also been established. Mr. Prof. Dr. Martin Skiba, board member of the German Foundation Offshore Wind, was newly named the head of the working group on offshore wind energy.
The International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) is the leading fair and conference for offshore wind industry in North America. The annual event, organized by the Oceantic Network, gathers global leaders, business, and experts from offshore wind industry.