Coastal cities are well-positioned to help the U.S. achieve emissions reductions targets by transitioning to justly-sourced, renewable, carbon-free energy sources, and ensuring effective transmission and storage for grid reliability. This primarily includes offshore wind at present, and possibly wave, tidal, and thermal energy in the future.
The United States has untapped potential to expand offshore wind infrastructure and pave the way for the reliable production of renewable energy close to major urban centers.
However, to-date, the U.S. offshore wind industry has been slow to develop due to a number of problems, including protracted permitting processes, opposition from interest groups, and inadequate data and scientific studies on project impacts, among other challenges.
Coastal cities can contribute to a cleaner, more just energy future by advancing initiatives like workforce training programs, improved research, and investing in onshore supporting infrastructure—including for transmission, energy storage, and ocean farm operations and maintenance. Doing so requires improved engagement and collaboration between city governments, local communities, offshore wind developers, and other interested parties for an equitable and inclusive clean energy transition.