Offshore wind turbines. Photo courtesy NOAA

Like all Californians, I care deeply about our environment. Our state’s natural beauty and diverse ecosystems are something to treasure and protect. Shifting toward more renewable energy is essential to meeting California’s air quality and climate mandates.

California’s growing population continuously requires new electricity generation. Renewable energy, largely from wind and solar sources, is key to meeting California’s growing energy requirements while accomplishing important environmental challenges.

To meet California’s goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2045, offshore wind energy needs to be a significant part of the plan. New offshore wind energy legislation in Assembly Bill 525 is exactly what we need.

California is positioned to lead the west coast in this innovative technology. With the second longest coastline in the lower 48 states, our potential is enormous. Similar potential on America’s eastern shores has already caused seven coastal eastern states to join together to achieve their offshore wind energy goals. Our state’s 2045 goal is attainable — and can even be surpassed.

Californians need safe, reliable power that is both clean and affordable. Offshore wind development will create over 10,000 well-paying professional jobs during the construction phase, and several thousand permanent positions, all while delivering energy to California’s citizens at the lowest possible cost: Far lower than electricity generated from coal, gas, oil or nuclear power.

I am pleased to see the emphasis on coordination for new wind projects at sea laid out within AB 525. The bill emphasizes working with the California Coastal Commission, the Ocean Protection Council, the State Lands Commission and other relevant agencies to ensure a successful, sensible plan that serves all Californians and the environment. 

If passed and implemented, this bill will kick-start a vital industry that will serve the electricity needs of Californians for decades to come while improving the health of our communities.

Ace Hoffman is a San Diego-based software developer and environmental activist

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