To avoid serious consequences of climate change, society faces a dual challenge: how to make a transition to a low-carbon future to reduce the risks of climate change while also extending the economic and social benefits of energy to everyone on the planet. This is an ambition that requires a change in the way energy is produced, used, and made accessible to more people while drastically cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The global energy transition will span decades and require unprecedented collaboration between policymakers, leaders from business and non-governmental organizations, and consumers. The speed of the transition will crucially depend on actions taken by governments to put in place the broad range of policies necessary to drive and accelerate change across the global economy.
In New England, new electricity generation capacity is required to accommodate economic growth and supplement fossil fuel and nuclear power plants that are retired. State leaders have recognized the need to meet rising energy demand while acting urgently and effectively against climate change. Massachusetts has established a statewide limit of net–zero GHG emissions by 2050, and issued procurements of offshore wind energy as the least-cost pathway to decarbonization. An additional 1,000-2,000 megawatts (MW) of new offshore wind generation is needed annually to fulfill the net–zero limit by 2050, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. Rhode Island has also established a target of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 and last year increased state procurements by an additional 600-1,000 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.
Harnessing offshore wind resources supports tens of thousands of jobs, billions in economic output, and investment in critical coastal infrastructure. Technological innovation continues to drive down costs across the offshore wind supply chain and improve design and performance. Strong and consistent wind speeds in the federal offshore lease areas help lower generation costs. The highest offshore wind generation periods match customer demand, especially in peak winter months when natural gas prices surge.
SouthCoast Wind is determined to play our part in the drive to provide more and cleaner energy solutions for all in a sustainable future.