Home>Articles>Bill To Drastically Increase Offshore Wind Power Production Introduced in Assembly

San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Bill To Drastically Increase Offshore Wind Power Production Introduced in Assembly

‘Remember, you need a lot of wind plants for decent power; a gigawatt only cover about 700,000-750,000 homes’

By Evan Symon, February 12, 2021 6:39 pm

A new bill to drastically increase offshore wind power production, including a final goal of 10 Gigawatts (GW) of electricity by 2040, was introduced in the Assembly this week.

Assembly Bill 525, authored by Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco), would target the growth of offshore wind farms to help meet the goals of SB 100, also known as the 100 Percent Clean Energy Act of 2018, to have renewable and zero-carbon energy sources supplying 100% of retail sales of electricity to California end-use customers and 100% of electricity procured to serve all state agencies by 2045. AB 525 would specifically set goals of offshore wind production at 3 GW of electricity by 2030 and 10 GW by 2040. Should the bill be passed, a strategic plan for the offshore wind farms would be due by June 2022.

In addition, consultation would be required with the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to see what would be needed to support the offshore wind farms, including finding suitable areas for turbines to be built and training suitable workers for the farms.

Assemblyman Chiu wrote the bill not only to help meet the goals of SB 100, but to also help spur more wind power development in California.

“California has set ambitious goals for building a cleaner, greener economy, and we will need an equally clean, green electric grid to provide power to every community 24 hours a day – all year long,” Chiu said in a statement Thursday. “Offshore wind is a tested, proven technology that can provide huge amounts of renewable energy, with minimal environmental impacts, complementing California’s enormous solar fleet by providing power in the evening hours and through the night.”

“There is work to be done to get these resources online, and this bill gives the state achievable energy production targets that will allow us to start the planning, permitting, and workforce preparation we need to meet them.”

The bill quickly gained support in the form of co-authors on Thursday, as well as getting co-sponsorship from the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California and Environment California.

“The building trades in California have built the vast majority of the utility scale solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and pumped storage making California a global leader in renewable energy,” noted State Building and Construction Trades Council of California president Robbie Hunter of AB 525. “Offshore wind is the next frontier and our highly skilled workforce is positioned to bring a new, limitless and reliable green energy source onto California’s grid. If you will, it’s a wind-win.”

Opponents question AB 525

Opponents of the bill noted that while the wind farms would bring in construction, maintenance, and operation jobs to many coastal areas, the state can’t rely on wind power projects at a time when power plants across the state are closing down.

“Wind is fine for many places, but in denser parts of California you can’t rely on it,” Dr. Zachary Lang, an energy expert in Washington, D.C, explained to the Globe. “California will be losing many plants of the coal/oil/gas variety in the coming years due to environmental regulations. Even their lone nuclear plant. Dams are unpopular, so hydro won’t be growing, so the burden is being placed on solar and wind.”

“And, to their credit, California has done an incredible job of creating renewable energy plants. In ten years, in-state generated electricity has shot up from about 15% renewable in 2009 to 33% in 2018. Even natural gas has gone down percentage-wise, and not many states can claim that.”

“But, as we saw in the California energy crisis at the turn of the millennium and through all the grid closings and brownouts due to forest fires in recent years, the state needs to make sure that renewable energy can stand on its own. Little by little, you add some renewable energy, take off some non-renewable and see if it strains. And you build it up little by little. Many Europeans countries do this in anticipation of coal and gas plant closures, and California needs to slowly bring it in too.”

“Remember, you need a lot of wind plants for decent power. The bills goal is 3 GW by 2030. Ok, but remember a gigawatt only covers about 700,000-750,000 homes; 10GW covers a decent amount, but in terms of covering California, you need more than that. Plus you need to make sure that the wind power holds up for providing electricity before more non-renewable plants are shut down.”

AB 525 is expected to be heard in committee beginning in mid-March.

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14 thoughts on “Bill To Drastically Increase Offshore Wind Power Production Introduced in Assembly

  1. Dr. Lang got GW and MW confused, 70,000 home are powered by a GigaWatt. Texas has 28 GW of wind capacity, but through the day production ranges from as little as 0.2 up to a max of 28. The average is 9 GW, which can replace the output of only 7-8 of the gas-fired power plants the Dems seek to close. That’s Texas today; California today generates 5.4 GW — 1/5th of Texas! — and Assemblyman Chiu’s bill only seeks another 10 GW by 2040, replacing 3 fossil fuel plants! For a “national leader”, we are way behind the curve. At least now we know past opposition to offshore development had nothing to do with preserving coastal beauty.

  2. “Offshore wind is a tested, proven technology that can provide huge amounts of renewable energy, with minimal environmental impacts…”

    Tell that to the segulls, terns and other shorebirds…

    But seriously, it might, MIGHT make sense to explore those current-based floating generators that they were looking at in the North Sea about 15-20 years ago, but then you’d have the Greenpeace crew AND the shipping lobby up in arms about impacting migrating whales and Port of Long Beach/ Los Angeles traffic impacts….

    No easy solutions….

    1. An easier solution simply would be to build several reactors – all of a common advanced design and no re-inventing the wheel each time – and thus achieving the otherwise spurious “carbon neutral” goals practically overnight.

      (The Russians have excellent, cost effective designs that are built on barges and ready to be towed into harbors and protected coves in relatively short order. I’m sure the Chinese have the same thing also. There are other advanced designs as well to consider. Plus San Onofre ought to be brought back on line and augmented.)

      Far better than windmills that, despite being bird killers, A) are down 30% of the time for maintenance, and
      B) would have to be marinized to withstand the harsh and corrosive ocean environment. (One of the reasons boat parts cost so much.)

      Likewise, you could just as easily line the hundreds of miles of the interstate highways 40 ft. center medians, esp. those in the desert, with amorphous solar panels in order to capture the abundant solar energy that blasts the state daily. (Save the excess energy by pumping water uphill during the day, then letting it flow downhill at night, no batteries needed.)

      Of course, this all presupposes that California has the money to do so. The state is effectively bankrupt due to the chasing out its productive classes whilst simultaneously passing out even more free goodies to the indigent instead of maintaining and augmenting its existing and neglected infrastructure. It’s on its way to becoming another textbook example of what you read about in Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies.* All is needed to push it over the edge is a Black Swan event, most likely a major earthquake or unnecessary war.

      Anyway, it’s all something to consider.

      Just a thought.


      *I wonder if this David Chiu person has even heard of it, let alone read it. It ought to be required reading for each and every existing or aspiring office holder or government functionary.

      1. David Chiu is signaling his sagacity, not that he needs any such virtue to get re-elected for eternity. And does he care about unintended consequences or the foolishness of what he wishes for? Why should he care an iota? He has a permanent seat on the bridge of the Titanic. In the multicultural wonderland we’ve created, Chinese vote only for Chinese, Vietnamese for Vietnamese, Mexicans for Mexicans, blah blah blah, while “racist” whites vote for anyone they like, irrespective of color.

  3. Wow, another example of politicians knowing so much more than we do. We have seen how inefficient this green energy is but people like Chiu are shoving this green BS down are throats in the name of “climate change” or “global warming” or whatever term they are using for the hoax this week. Folks green energy is too expensive and is not dependable for our needs. Look what happens when we have a heat wave the grid can’t keep up! And they want 100% “renewable”? Look for more blackouts in the future. But the politicians know so much more, that’s why they are politicians.

  4. Without reading the article, I’m guessing by the headline that the entire capitol complex is being relocated to Catalina?

  5. BTW, if you’re a landlord of any rental, from one unit to 10,000, this guy is your worst enemy! He’s principally behind letting renters off the hook to pay rent…for 3 months, then 6 months, then a year, and who knows how long after that?

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