This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

July 07, 2010

DOE and DOI to Spur Offshore Renewable Energy Projects

DOE and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 29 that will strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies regarding future development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Together, DOI and DOE will use this agreement to spur the development of offshore wind and water resources. The MOU states that within 30 days of its signing, an interagency working group will develop an action plan covering the development of attainable deployment goals for offshore wind energy and marine and hydrokinetic energy. The action plan will also address siting and permitting, resource assessment, technical standards, data exchange, and public engagement.

Even with recent increased interest in developing offshore resources, the federal approval in April of the Cape Wind project off Massachusetts, and the creation last month of the 10-state Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, U.S. coastal wind and water resources remain largely untapped. According to DOE's 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, offshore wind alone could produce 54 gigawatts by 2030. The interagency pact will aid the development of such domestic energy resources by allowing the federal partners to pursue priority leasing and efficient regulatory processes for sites with commercial-scale offshore potential. The agreement will further the Administration's goals of creating clean energy jobs, expanding the U.S. renewable energy portfolio, and cutting reliance on fossil fuels. See the DOI press release, the full text of the MOU (PDF 1.22 MB), and the Wind and Water Power Program Web site. Download Adobe Reader.