by Daniel J. Graeber
Sacramento (UPI) Oct 14, 2016
California becomes the 14th coastal state in the country to form a task force examining the potential of wind and wave energy, the federal government said.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and California state representatives met in Sacramento for the first time to explore opportunities for wind and wave energy in state waters.
A month ago, the federal government approved plans to set aside 10.9 million acres of land it manages in the California desert for conservation and renewable energy development. California Energy Commissioner Karen Douglas said the state now looked forward to additional work for offshore energy alongside the BOEM.
"California is currently implementing a comprehensive set of climate change policies, including 50 percent renewable energy target by 2030, and we are interested in learning about how offshore wind could play a role in helping achieve our climate and renewable energy goals," she said in a statement.
California has the potential to generate about 392 terawatt hours of electricity from offshore wind along, that's about 1.5 times what the state consumes.
Gov. Jerry Brown is advancing on some of the most ambition low-carbon initiatives in the nation, with efforts geared toward drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and mandates aimed at cutting petroleum use from cars and trucks in the state. He called for federal collaboration on offshore wind and wave energy in May.
"California, with its track record of collaborative planning to bring online land-based renewable energy projects, now sets its eye to the sea to begin early planning on how Pacific offshore winds and waves may one day help the state meet its aggressive renewable energy goal," Janice Schneider, Interior Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management, said in a statement.
The California Chamber of Commerce said some of Brown's measures could limit the state economy, while the Sierra Club said many of the state legislators still had strong ties to special interest groups associated with the oil and gas industry.
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