The Gulf of Mexico and Renewables Forecast for 2050 - Pager Power
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The Gulf of Mexico and Renewables Forecast for 2050

The Gulf of Mexico and Renewables Forecast for 2050
December 7, 2021 Andrea Mariano

President Joe Biden has recently presented his Build Back Better Act which aims to re-build the American economy after the damage caused by the pandemic. A substantial amount of the plan is towards transforming the energy sector, in order to combat climate change. Circa 1/3 of the $1.75 trillion will be going towards climate and clean energy investments [1].

gulf of mexico renewablesFigure 1: Oil Platform Rig. [5]

The 2050 Forecast

NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) has assessed three scenarios for the Power Sector in 2050. All scenarios show an increase in the use of renewable energies in the energy mix. As expected, when policies are implemented, the shift to renewable energy increases much faster and has a higher magnitude in terms of capacity deployed. In the best-case scenario, the road to 2050 sees solar energy increasing 12-fold, wind (on- and off-shore) increasing 7-fold. This is at the expense of gas and coal [3]. 

The Role of Off-Shore Wind Power

An example of the shift towards renewable is shown in the re-conversion of the Gulf of Mexico from a place for oil extraction to a suitable location for offshore wind farms. During the first week of November 2021 the US interior department asked companies to come forward with their interest in leasing a 30m-acre area in waters off Louisiana and Texas. Currently, the development of offshore wind farms in the Gulf of Mexico remains not extremely profitable due to low wind speeds and low electricity prices in the states of Texas and Louisiana. However, it is only matter of time before improvements in the technology and reductions in costs can make offshore wind energy profitable in the Gulf of Mexico [4]. 

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[1] What’s in Democrats’ $1.75 trillion social spending and climate bill?, Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson, date: 18/11/2021, date accessed: 05/12/2021.

[2] Na Kika Oil and Gas Fields, Gulf of Mexico, offshore-technology, date: n.d., date accessed: 05/12/2021.

[3] 2021 Standard Scenarios Report: A U.S. Electricity Sector Outlook, Wesley Cole and J. Vincent Carag, Publisher: NREL, date: 11/2021, date accessed: 05/12/2021.

[4] Wind is blowing towards renewable energy in oil-rich Gulf of Mexico, Justin Jacobs, date: 2/11/2021, date accessed: 05/12/2021.

[5] Jan-Rune Smenes Reite (Nov, 2019) ‘Oil Platform Rig in the Middle of the Ocean’. Last accessed 07 Dec 2021 from Available at:


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