4,000 GW of untapped offshore wind energy in the USA

Wednesday, 13 April, 2016 - 12:00

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that there are currently 4,223 GW of untapped offshore wind energy in the USA. Wind Energy Update has now released the whitepaper “Opportunities in the U.S. Offshore Wind Market” to help wind developers and EPCs to use this potential.

While the U.S. Department of Interior has dedicated financial resources and human capital for offshore wind and the Department of Energy has developed a 20% wind scenario by 2030 that includes 54 GW of offshore wind, the country still lacks an overarching vision of how to reach this target. A number of U.S. states have been proceeding with offshore wind projects in their own rights through task forces created by the Administration. The take-off of the U.S. offshore wind market will also depend on the next presidential and congressional elections and the compliance with the Clean Power Plan (CPP) scheduled for 2022. While the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) through the end of 2020 is considered as a bridge to 2022, when the CPP is scheduled to be enforced, the extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) until 2022 is anticipated to attract investment to U.S. offshore wind projects.

The whitepaper shows that 3.6 GW of U.S. offshore wind energy capacity, representing more than US$ 60 billion in capital invested in 21 schemes, is expected to be added to the grid by 2020, through projects which have been issued leases by the Bureau of Energy Ocean Management (BOEM):

U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Pipeline by State

State Expected total capacity through projects to be added by 2020 (MW)
Maryland 500
Rhode Island 1,000
Massachusettes 400
New Jersey 1,700
Total 3,600
Source: Environment New Jersey Research and Policy Center, January 2016

Until recently, the lack of offshore wind projects in the U.S. meant that there was little demand for a domestic supply chain. However, with the recent awarding of offshore wind lease areas and the entry of international developers, a market ecosystem is building up to encompass local and international contractors, suppliers, financiers, and consultancies.

Key topics in the whitepaper include:

  • Expert viewpoints from project developers and other leading experts
  • Status of U.S. offshore projects and recent developments
  • U.S. wind energy market ecosystem
  • U.S. Offshore wind project case studies

Wind Energy Update, an information and networking platform for the global wind industry, produced the whitepaper in conjunction with the Offshore Wind Market Development USA Conference & Exhibition. You can download the complementary whitepaper at: http://1.windenergyupdate.com/LP=10268.

Silke Funke / Wind Energy Update

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