A new, major initiative has been announced by the US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, which will speed up the process of sanctioning offshore wind power projects. The US has seen years of delay caused by red tape holding up such projects, which is holding up the progress of renewable energy generation.
The Cape Wind project has seen a lot of bureaucratic delays, both from the state as well as local levels.
Faced with this situation, the Department of the Interior seems to be taking an active stand to directly intervene, so that offshore wind power projects will come into existence at a much faster rate.
The announcement from the Interior Secretary said that the office would be working to speed up the process of granting permits etc. to hasten the development of offshore wind projects.
They would also work on identifying geographical areas that held the potential to house such projects. The Interior Office would be working with the governors of eleven of the US states on the Atlantic Coast to zone in on the areas that looked promising.
The Secretary said that a ‘smart permitting process’ would be put in place which would ensure that leases would be issued within two years.
Currently it takes approximately seven years for an offshore wind power project to obtain a lease. The Cape Wind project, which was the first offshore project to get federal approval, was in the approval process for eight long years.
The present system that required innumerable processes and checkpoints to be has been holding the USA behind in the offshore wind power sector, when compared to other countries.
The new processing system that’s being put in place should work hugely to the advantage of the sector if it does indeed make the approvals process faster.