The Biden administration is seeking to spark a development boom in the US’s offshore wind industry, has outlined its commitment to the US offshore wind industry by setting a target of deploying 30 gigawatts of generation capacity — enough to power about 10m homes for a year — from turbines operating in coastal waters by 2030.
The White House has said that this new target would create 44,000 jobs in offshore wind and another 33,000 in support sectors by 2030.
While the US offshore wind industry is off to a late start compared with its European and Chinese counterparts, it could also be set for rapid growth as domestic players partner with experienced global developers, and as market fundamentals and state and federal actions will likely combine to accelerate the energy industry’s transition and convergence in 2021.
The US already has a 20 GW pipeline of projects announced and/or under development, and a 30 GW market by 2035 created by state mandates alone. Despite the pandemic, states have also proceeded with plans to develop domestic supply chains that are expected to shape the industry’s growth in 2021 and help further lower costs. For example, the state of New York has committed $400 million in public and private funding for port infrastructure to support the industry. Meanwhile, New Jersey has announced plans for an offshore port to serve as a hub for staging, assembly, and manufacturing offshore wind projects. And most recently, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina announced a collaboration to facilitate offshore manufacturing and infrastructure development across the three states.
Signposts to watch for in 2021 include the extent to which new technologies, their hybridization, and domestic supply chain development continue to lower costs.
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