State decisions, not Donald Trump, will drive offshore wind

President-elect Donald Trump wants Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a friend of the fossil fuel industry, as his Energy Department secretary. What does that mean for renewable energy sources like offshore wind?

Energy policy under the Obama administration has meant a commitment to renewable sources like onshore and offshore wind to combat climate change, which Trump has said is a Chinese hoax. He also has said he would like to see a re-emergence of the coal industry.

So does that mean wind power is imperiled?

Not necessarily, according to supporters like Deepwater Wind’s Massachusetts Vice President Matthew Morrissey. His company just launched the first offshore wind project in the United States off Block Island and is interested in projects off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, as well as  New York and Maryland.

The industry is seeking expansion of the investment tax credit to support new investment in land-based and offshore wind projects, and the New England congressional delegation could find allies in Plains state Republicans representing states where onshore wind already is well-established.

More significantly, however, individual state actions will drive the growth of offshore wind in the United States — regardless of who is in the White House, Morrissey said.