Yesterday, the UC Berkeley Labor Center released a report commissioned by the State of California Ocean Protection Council and focused on California workforce and grid integration issues. The Report is co-authored by Rob Collier, a top specialist with the UC Berkeley Labor Center Green Economy Program and several senior analysts from E3 consulting. The Business Network provided input to the report and thanks the authors for incorporating many of our recommendations.
Studies by the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) have indicated that the state will require two to six times more renewables capacity by 2045 than is installed today. However, California’s planning processes have only recently begun to consider offshore wind as a component of this future energy supply.
The authors conclude “Offshore wind could provide thousands of high-wage, unionized jobs in construction, manufacturing, operations and marine services – but only if the state commits to fixed procurement targets and adopts a series of policies, detailed in the report, to guarantee in-state economic benefits. If the planning process were to be done on a more piecemeal basis, the likely result would be imported components, less development, and insignificant economic benefits.”
In addition, “E3’s data shows that offshore wind will be cost competitive with alternative renewable grid power sources by the late 2020s, and between 8 GW and 20 GW should be developed from the early 2030s onward. The CPUC has agreed to formally incorporate this data and analysis into its two-year IRP, which will be released in 2020.” This is significant and provides the offshore wind energy industry with confidence that there is a path toward the development of utility scale offshore wind farms off CA.