On June 14, Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) Senior Research Associate Tim Steeves spoke in a panel discussion on unions and offshore wind power at the 2022 convention of The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). He detailed findings from the Labor Energy Partnership’s report released that same day, titled “Building a Domestic Offshore Wind Supply Chain.” The Labor Energy Partnership is a collaboration between EFI and AFL-CIO.
Panelists discussed possible ways to create an offshore wind supply chain that will create jobs, provide clean energy generation, and contribute to economic growth in the United States. Steeves referenced the “massive momentum” surrounding offshore wind projects with targets such as 30 GW by 2030, the Biden Administration’s goal to advance offshore wind by deploying 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030, and the New York Bight offshore wind lease sale, offering 488,000 acres for wind energy deployment.
Steeves said now is the time to develop a domestic offshore wind supply chain. He said union jobs can empower and build out the communities they are in.
“Investing in our shipyards [and] investing in our shipbuilding is going to be really important,” Steeves added. Meeting 2030 decarbonization goals requires investing in large-scale development—wind turbine installation vessels and staging areas necessary to build offshore wind infrastructure.
Steeves said he expects the offshore wind industry to become increasingly competitive. “Any country with a coastline will start building offshore wind,” he said. Building out U.S. offshore wind capacity will enable us to be a reliable offshore wind provider and benefit our decarbonization efforts.
To learn more about offshore wind, check out our fact sheet: The Power of Offshore Wind.
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