Joe Biden has promised that his push for renewable energy will
create more manufacturing jobs for Americans. He was reported
saying, “there is simply no reason the blades for wind turbines
can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing. No reason.”
Except, in reality, most of the manufacturing jobs will actually
be created in Europe.
The Vineyard Wind project, off the coast of Massachusetts, is
expected to produce enough electricity to power 400,000 homes in
New England by 2023. The windfarm is a joint venture between
Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners and Avangrid Inc. which is
part of the Iberdrola group.
According to the managing director of Iberdola Renewables
Offshore, Jonathon Cole, smaller components will be manufactured
locally, but the bigger parts will not.
Insiders say it could take years before developers can commit to
building new American factories. To get things moving,
developers would need to see a deep pipeline of approved U.S.
projects, along with a clear set of regulatory incentives like
federal and state tax breaks.
Christy Guthman, commercial leader of U.S. offshore at General
Electric’s renewable division, also said that opening a factory
would be costly and time consuming. It would require permits and
large amounts of space near the coast.
Guthman’s company is set to supply Vineyard Wind with 62
turbines. However, the major parts for those turbines, which are
twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, will be made in its
factories in France.
Biden’s administration has unveiled a goal to install 30
gigawatts of offshore wind power capacity by 2030. That is
roughly the amount that already exists in Europe’s two-decade-
Experts have estimated more than 2,000 turbines will be needed
to meet that target, but U.S. factories probably won’t be
finished until 2024 or 2025. This would mean those jobs may not
materialize until after Biden’s time in the White House is up.