Manchin: Marine Renewable Energy And Offshore Wind Will Advance Climate Solutions

September 22, 2020

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s opening remarks, please click here.

To watch a video of Senator Manchin’s questioning, please click here.

Washington, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to examine emerging offshore and marine energy technologies in the United States, including offshore wind, marine and hydrokinetic energy, and alternative fuels for maritime shipping. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), Ranking Member of the Committee, highlighted that his bipartisan American Energy Innovation Act advances those technologies while reducing emissions and maintaining our nation’s position as a global energy leader.

“The American Energy Innovation Act will advance climate solutions across the four sectors of the economy that make up approximately 90% of our current greenhouse gas emissions. Advancing marine renewable energy and offshore wind technologies is part of that solution as well as authorizing much-needed research on the industrial equipment needed to make the shipping fuels of the future,” Ranking Member Manchin said. “In addition, the technologies we will be discussing today have the potential to create U.S. jobs for workers and communities that need a long-term lifeline. By identifying the policies and industries that will rebuild our manufacturing sector and reclaim our economic future, I believe we can help our workers and their families while reestablishing U.S. leadership in existing and entirely new energy markets.”

Ranking Member Manchin also raised concerns about the monopoly China holds over the supply chain of rare earth elements, which are critical in the manufacturing of offshore wind turbines.

“Unlike onshore wind turbines, which utilize a gearbox drive generator, offshore wind turbines rely on a very powerful magnet as a key component to a direct-drive generator. A direct-drive generator is more suitable to offshore wind due to its low-maintenance requirements. However, it also creates a supply chain vulnerability because the magnet is derived from a rare earth mineral called neodymium-- which is mined almost exclusively in China. The wind turbines at the Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island are equipped with a magnet that was made in Japan out of rare earth minerals originating in China. We have held several hearings in this committee about the monopoly China holds over the supply chain of rare earth elements and other critical minerals that are vital to future energy technologies,” Ranking Member Manchin said.

The hearing featured witnesses from the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Ocean Renewable Power Company, Inc., Equinor Wind US, and the Clean Air Task Force. To read their testimony click here.  

To watch the hearing in full, please click here.  


Manchin: Marine Renewable Energy And Offshore Wind Will Advance Climate Solutions