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DOE and DOI sign MOU to spur the development in offshore renewable energy projects

Oilfield Technology,

The Department of the Interior and the Department of Energy today announced a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will strengthen the working relationship between the two agencies on the future development of commercial renewable offshore energy projects on the US outer continental shelf (OCS).

"Renewable energy development holds great promise for our clean energy future and our economy," said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. "This joint framework with DOE will bring together resources and expertise from both agencies as we pursue the environmentally responsible development of these valuable renewable energy resources."

"We have a major opportunity to tap the energy in waves and offshore wind. Increasing co-operation between our agencies will help make clean, renewable energy a reality," said Secretary Steven Chu.

According to DOE's 20% Wind Energy by 2030 report, offshore wind alone has the potential to produce 54,000 MW by 2030. This MOU will facilitate further development of these resources by utilising priority leasing and efficient regulatory processes for sites with commercial scale offshore wind and water power development potential.

The two agencies will exchange information on resources and technologies, conduct stakeholder engagements, and collaborate on research projects. These activities will augment the scientific and technical exchanges that already occur between the two departments. By facilitating the development of offshore clean energy, this agreement will further the Obama administration's goals of creating clean energy jobs, expanding the nation's renewable energy portfolio and easing America's reliance on fossil fuels.

Interest in offshore renewable projects will no doubt be higher after people have seen the potential dangers of tapping increasingly difficult oil and gas reserves. America still has a long way to go to wean itself of its dependence on fossil fuels though.

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