New Aegir Insights report: The U.S. will reach 9 GW of floating offshore wind by 2035

February 10, 2021
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2 min read
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The offshore wind industry has been biding its time on the American market and is ready to spring into action when opportunities to begin the build-out arise. With President Joe Biden in the Oval Office, the time for action is here.

A mere week into his presidency, Joe Biden set a goal of doubling offshore wind power in the U.S. by 2030, and since then he has revamped the leadership of the federal permitting gatekeeper, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), by making Amanda Lefton director.

Federal action might unclog BOEM’s pipeline and trigger offshore wind boom

Lefton immediately ordered that the permitting process for Vineyard Wind be resumed after several delays. As Vineyard Wind wraps up the permitting process, a whole backlog of delayed offshore wind projects that have submitted plans to BOEM and have been waiting in line behind Vineyard Wind should start to move ahead.

Further solidifying the expectation of an offshore wind boom in the U.S. is the new Investment Credit Tax (ITC) specifically for offshore wind projects, which Congress passed in December 2020. This 30% tax credit expires in 2026 and will push offshore wind developers to begin their projects before the deadline.

Deep waters and valuable views will turn the U.S. to floating wind

The first offshore wind projects to be realized are all located off the East Coast and will be bottom-fixed. But the waters off the West Coast, which offer some of the best wind resources in the country, are too deep for anything but floating offshore wind farms. The same goes for Hawaii and certain areas off the northern East Coast, where deeper waters might be utilized for floating offshore wind as states run out of feasible shallow sites.

If the states around the Great Lakes want to exploit their strong winds, floating turbines further from shore will be preferred to protect the shoreline views, which are valuable to both homeowners and tourism.

A new report by Aegir Insights, published today, forecasts a build-out of floating offshore wind of between 6 and 11 GW by 2035 in California, Oregon, Hawaii, Michigan, New York and Maine, with the base case giving a result of 9 GW. As Wood Mackenzie estimates a 34 GW offshore wind build-out by 2035, our base case indicates that approximately 25 % of overall U.S. offshore wind capacity could come from floating wind in 2035.

The full report covers build-out as well as market drivers and LCOE-levels. Get in touch to learn more about Aegir Insights' research offerings.

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Aegir Insights provides industry-leading intelligence powered by data science for offshore wind energy developers, governments and financial institutions.

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CVR no.: 39104792

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