Offshore wind energy can help the nation reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, diversify its energy supply, provide cost-competitive electricity to key coastal regions, and stimulate revitalization of key sectors of the economy. However, if the nation is to realize these benefits, key challenges to the development and deployment of offshore wind technology must be overcome, including the relatively high cost of energy, technical challenges surrounding installation and grid interconnection, and the permitting challenges governing deployment in both federal and state waters. PES takes a look at the state of the nation’s offshore ambitions.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, the U.S. Department of Energy instituted the Offshore Wind Innovation and Demonstration (OSWInD) initiative to consolidate and expand its efforts to promote and accelerate responsible commercial offshore wind development in the U.S. A National Offshore Wind Strategy: Creating an Offshore Wind Energy Industry in the United States is an action document that amplifies and draws conclusions from a companion report, Large-Scale Offshore Wind Energy for the United States (W. Musial 2010).
The National Offshore Wind Strategy will guide DOE’s OSWInD initiative to support the development of a world-class offshore wind industry in the United States able to achieve 54 GW of offshore wind deployment at a cost of energy of $0.07 / kWh by the year 2030, with an interim scenario of 10 GW at $0.10 / kWh by 2020.
To realize these scenarios, the OSWInD initiative has developed a strategy to achieve two critical objectives: reduce the cost of offshore wind energy and reduce the timeline for deploying offshore wind energy.