Across the Atlantic, offshore wind has been advancing for more than 20 years. Time for the US to catch up! Photo by London Array
New York has some of the greatest offshore wind power potential in the world. The Obama Administration continues to make federal Wind Energy Areas available for development all along the Atlantic Coast, and recently announced New York as top priority. It will then be up to state leadership to ensure the area is put to use. Despite a booming industry overseas that supports 85,000 jobs, offshore wind power has yet to provide any of America’s energy (though the nation’s first project is currently under construction!).

The National Wildlife Federation applauds New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for underscoring his commitment to clean energy and furthering a transition away from fossil fuels. His State of the State address builds on an announcement last year that he would aim for half of New York’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030. This goal will only be attainable with robust deployment of offshore wind power, and we were pleased to hear his intent to issue a plan for getting it done.

“For the first time today, a New York governor highlighted the important role offshore wind power must play in its energy future. It was one of a series of significant steps outlined by Gov. Cuomo today toward achieving his goal of getting 50 percent of New York’s power from clean, renewable energy by 2030. We support Gov. Cuomo’s bold leadership and will continue urging New York to set a bold, clear target for wildlife-friendly offshore wind energy.”

Curtis Fisher, Northeast Regional Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation

New York has abundant offshore wind potential that can lead to local jobs, economic growth, and a cleaner environment. Photo by Barn Images via Flickr Creative Commons
The question remains to be answered: Who will launch large-scale offshore wind power in the U.S. and seize the first-mover economic benefits? The states that choose to be the pioneers in reaching this next clean energy frontier can secure the massive job creation potential of attracting supply chain industries. They can be the hubs of a specially trained workforce. And they can have the enduring legacy of inspiring their neighbors to harness our most abundant untapped clean energy solution, critical for protecting wildlife and future generations from the dangers of climate change.

Governor Cuomo’s ambition was clear in Albany – it sets the stage for the type of firm action that we look forward to seeing unfold in the months ahead. A directive to reach a clear offshore wind power target by a set date (we’re calling for  5,000 megawatts by 2025) will spark the innovative policy solutions that are well within reach. Let’s keep up this momentum and reach a truly clean energy future for the Empire State!

 Call on your Governor to lead on offshore wind power for wildlife!