US Offshore Wind Power Generation to Grow Exponentially

Offshore Wind Farm (Habitat)

United Kingdom – Westwood Global Energy Group (WGEG) has released a report forecasting an exponential growth in offshore wind power generation in the United States over the next decade.

WGEG’s report titled World Offshore Wind Market Forecast 2017-2026 suggests the US’s offshore wind power cumulative capacity is set to grow from 30 MW in 2016 to 2.5 GW by 2026, with an additional 1 GW of capacity from projects which have not yet passed conceptual phases.

The first commercial offshore wind farm in the US was installed off Rhode Island in 2016. The Rhode Island, Deepwater Wind, installation comprising of six turbines has a full capacity of 30MW.

Projections by the WGEG report indicate the number of installed offshore turbines in the US will increase to 580 by 2026.

A 39% year-on-year growth in US offshore wind expenditure is forecast and will total $28bn between 2017 and 2026. This growth in offshore wind expenditure will comprise of hardware Capex accounting for 68% of spend, installation costs at 22% and planning and development using 10% of expenditure.

WGEG’s predictions may not be off the mark despite US president Donald Trump favouring oil and gas as well as his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Signs everywhere show that US offshore wind power generation is gaining some ground.

Rhode Island’s, Deepwater Wind has been given the nod to build a 90 MW wind farm off New York. At the same time Statoil will also be looking at the feasibility to install over 1GW offshore New York.

“Other encouraging signs include the first US auction under Trump, which resulted in a winning bid of nearly $9.1m from Avangrid Renewables, for the 1.5 GW Kitty Hawk project lease, and the award of offshore wind renewable credits by the Maryland Public Service Commission in May 2017,” says Marina Ivanova, a WGEG analyst.

She also adds, “As each state has its own renewable electricity mandates, the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is likely to affect emission targets at a federal level only. It remains to be seen the extent to which President Trump will be able to influence individual states’ renewable policies.”