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US Offshore Wind

image credit: Retrieved from U.S. Department of Energy Offshore Wind Report: 2022 Edition.
Sandy Lawrence's picture
retired MD, I write and lecture on energy, climate, grid, and epidemiology

I post almost daily on science topics, dealing with energy systems, the climate system, the electric grid and epidemiology. Background is in academic medicine, but I have also been teaching in...

  • Member since 2021
  • 35 items added with 5,184 views
  • Jan 23, 2023

UtilityDive: "US can go much bigger on offshore wind: 3 lessons from the UK + Denmark" Fulfilling the requirements of law, the California Energy Commission [CEC] proposed a 10-15 gigawatt goal for 2045, enough to power just 10% of the state’s future net-zero grid. Influenced by an analysis from UC Berkeley, the CEC upped that to a 25 gigawatt [GW or billion watts = output of a nuclear or large coal plant] offshore target. But Danish + British experience suggests this ambition is still not big enough. Offshore wind is technologically mature + a cost-effective + scalable US resource. "Infrastructure and supply chain development will follow ambitious targets, but public investments are crucial to driving private investments." The global industry is booming, with China as a standout, as seen in the graph of cumulative installed offshore wind capacity by country. Ports + other infrastructure must be built out to accomodate the larger turbines used in offshore wind. Larger turbines capture more energy + have driven down costs. "U.K.’s 2022 offshore wind auction yielded contracts for 7 GW of capacity at an average of $54 per megawatt-hour, down from $147/MWh in 2014-2015." And the US Department of Energy 'Floating Offshore Wind Shot seeks to reduce floating offshore wind cost by 70%, to $45/MWh by 2035.' Note floating turbines are assembled at ports, which reduces underwater cacophany from pile-driving fixed-bottom structures, relying instead on a set of anchors arrayed around each turbine. Time to go big.   #offshorewind  #climatechange

Mark Silverstone's picture
Mark Silverstone on Jan 25, 2023

I think what we see in the next two years or so will tell us about the future of floating offshore wind. I tend to think you are correct that we should be accelerating the effort. But there are «ifs». If prices come in anywhere near what you suggest, and if the power generated is consistent and reliable, then more money will be poured into it.

Should be interesting.

Sandy Lawrence's picture
Thank Sandy for the Post!
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