Today, the California Energy Commission held a meeting to take feedback on a possible revised offshore wind plan. The overwhelming majority of comments they recieved on offshore wind encouraged them to go bigger than their draft goal. Here are comments Dan Jacobson delivered at the meeting:
“Thank you very much for the chance to testify, my name is Dan Jacobson, Senior Advisor to Environment California. We encourage the state to set goals of 5 gigawatts by 2030 and 20 gigawatts by 2045.
Environment California was a sponsor of AB 525. Environment California and Environment America has been working on offshore wind around the country for over ten years.
First, I want to thank the staff and the stakeholder who are joining us today. Offshore wind is critical to reaching out goals laid out in SB 100 and we encourage all the stakeholders to continue to meet and talk about the differences we have in a respectful and professional environment.
Second, President Biden has set goals of 30 gigawatts by 2030 and 110 gigawatts by 2045. The only way we are going to meet these goals is if all the coastal states take this issue seriously and come to the table to figure out how to tap into offshore wind in a fashion that brings clean energy to the country and still protects the beautiful places within the ocean.
Let’s take a look at what the other states have set goals or mandates:
Rhode Island – 1 gigawatt
Maryland – 1.5
New Jersey 7.5
North Carolina 8
New York 9
Added together- 35 gigawatts- this is roughly the amount of energy California uses.
Finally, why are we encouraging the state to go big on offshore wind?
1- We need to stave off the worst impacts of climate change
2-The state is about to pass a budget that will spend billions and billons of dollars. While there are billions of dollars that will go toward great projects for solar energy, storage, and geothermal. However, there are also significant resources that are going to help people who are already impacted by climate change. There are also plans to suspend or pause CEQA. The reasons we are suspending CEQA and other environmental programs is because in the past 30 years we did not set goals high enough, we took smaller steps forward and did not do all we could do. Now we are spending billions of $ and watching every year as people are impacted by climate change.
Lets learn from these lessons and this time not miss our moment- lets go big on offshore wind!”