Liz Burdock, President & CEO, Business Network for Offshore Wind
Yesterday, U.S. Department of Energy released its annual Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report for 2018, published in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. I am struck by how much this industry has grown up in the past twelve months. While we currently have one wind farm producing electricity, many more are lining up right behind it, and the first utility-scale offshore wind farm hopes to break ground next year in Massachusetts.
If we step back from a global perspective, we can see how quickly the offshore wind marketplace could develop here in the U.S. Worldwide, the industry installed a record 5,652 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind capacity in 2018, an increase of more than 50% relative to 2017. The increase in global generating capacity largely came from China, which is relatively new to the industry, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark, by the end of 2018, cumulative global offshore wind installed capacity grew to 22,592 MW from 176 operating projects; this from an industry that started in Denmark in 1991 with one small wind farm.
It is the scale of offshore wind turbines and farms that makes them so exciting and so important to producing clean energy for millions of homes in a relatively short amount of time. With all of the concerns about replacing coal power plants and the aging of our nuclear power fleet, offshore wind is what will allow us to replace that load while keeping the lights on, and providing thousands of good union jobs for U.S. workers.
If you want to learn more about how big the U.S. market will get, and how quickly, I recommend reading the Executive Summary [link] of the new DOE Offshore Market Report and attending the webinar hosted on August 22nd. [Provide Link].
This annual, comprehensive report is packed with valuable statistics, tables and graphics and is seen by many as the “Bible” of the offshore wind energy marketplace. For those new to the industry, it also provides a list of the following key points:
• Four U.S. regions experienced significant development and regulatory activities, and we are seeing exciting developments in new states like California, Ohio, Maine, and Hawaii.
• One auction of three potential wind farm sites off the coast of Massachusetts brought in $405 million dollars to the U.S. treasury, breaking all previous records.
• Industry forecasts suggest U.S. offshore wind capacity could grow to 11–16 gigawatts by 2030.
• Offshore wind power prices for the first commercial-scale offshore wind project in Massachusetts were lower than expected—good news for taxpayers and ratepayers.
• The industry is seeking cost reductions through larger turbines with rated capacities of 10 MW and beyond.
• Floating offshore wind pilot projects, which can be installed in very deep water many miles off the coast, are advancing.
In addition to the Executive Summary, we encourage you to visit the Department of Energy’s WETO website to check out ‘Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know about Offshore Wind’ and ‘Top Trends in Offshore Wind.’ We also have a good resource called Why Offshore Wind, which we’ll be rolling out this week. More on this one tomorrow.