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The US announces new renewable energy regulations and offshore wind auctions

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) have published the updated regulations for renewable energy development on the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The final rule aims to increase certainty and to reduce the costs associated with the deployment of offshore wind projects by modernizing regulations, streamlining overly complex processes, and removing unnecessary ones, clarifying ambiguous regulatory provisions, and enhancing compliance requirements. The new regulations are expected to save costs of roughly US$1.9bn to the offshore wind industry over the next 20 years.

Among the final rule provisions a new five-year offshore wind leasing schedule that includes up to 12 potential offshore wind energy lease sales through 2028, with four leasing sales in 2024 (Central Atlantic, the Gulf of Maine, the Gulf of Mexico, and Oregon), one each in 2025 and 2026 (Gulf of Mexico and the Central Atlantic, respectively), two in 2027 (Gulf of Mexico and the New York Bight), and four in 2028 (California, a US Territory, the Gulf of Maine, and Hawaii). 

At the federal level, the United States targets 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 and 15 GW of floating wind capacity by 2035. The country also plans to reach 110 GW or more of offshore wind by 2050.