United States

United States

US 'tripled offshore wind investment' to $10bn in 2022

The US invested $9.8 billion in offshore wind last year according to the Business Network for Offshore Wind (BNOW) - nearly triple the amount spent in 2021.

Block Island was the first operational offshore wind farm in the US but more will come online this year (pic credit: GE Renewable Energy/Jeff Milstein)
Block Island was the first operational offshore wind farm in the US but more will come online this year (pic credit: GE Renewable Energy/Jeff Milstein)

Growth was primarily driven by lease auction fees but more than $4.4 billion was directed to port infrastructure, supply chain development and transmission.

A total of $17 billion has been invested since 2014, said BNOW’s ‘2023 US Offshore Wind Market Report’.

Offshore wind-related contracts grew by 36% in 2022 with the majority awarded to US companies. 

Federal and state targets

State targets for offshore wind have reached 77.4GW, said BNOW, more than double US President Joe Biden’s goal of 30GW of offshore wind to be installed by 2030. However, only 42MW is currently installed. 

The cumulative goals represent an increase of 79% year-on-year, said the report. California laid down a powerful industry marker by calling for 25GW of offshore wind by 2045, while Louisiana, New Jersey, and Rhode Island all announced new state targets. 

However publicly stated commercial operation dates suggest the US will “fall short” of Biden’s 30 GW by 2030 goal, said the report. 

Closing the gap

Newly leased areas could fill the gap, the trade group suggested, noting that the Biden administration is on track to lease seven areas by 2025 and conduct 16 environmental reviews. Rapid development of lease areas in the New York Bight, in which a record-breaking $4.4 billion auction was held in 2022, could also close the gap, said BNOW.  

Yet 2022 was also a year in which the sector felt the impact of inflation and global supply chain crunches, said Liz Burdock, chief executive of BNOW and projects off the East Coast have been struggling with higher costs

“As we finally reach commercialisation-at-scale of our industry, the market is experiencing project delays and manufacturers are raising concern over industry economics,” she said. 

“The long-term prospects of our market strengthen every day with unrelenting state demand for offshore wind, but our failure to tackle larger systemic problems threatens industry acceleration and sustainability,” she added. 

Demonstration to commercialisation 

The US offshore wind industry will move from demonstration to commercialisation this year, said BNOW. 

The first two commercial-scale projects, Vineyard Wind 1 and South Fork Wind, are set to produce electricity this year. Sister project Vineyard Wind South will come online in 2027 - according to Windpower Intelligence, the data and research division of Windpower Monthly – and foundation and turbine installation on the project will begin this year.

In 2023, states will buy at least 25 per cent more offshore wind power. Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island will all conduct or finalise new rounds of offshore wind procurement and thus increase the amount of offshore wind with financial backing. 

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