Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis

Posted by Content Coordinator on Tuesday, October 29th, 2013



This report was produced on behalf of the Wind and Water Power Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) as an award resulting from Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0000414, entitled U.S. Offshore Wind: Removing Market Barriers; Topic Area 1: Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis.

The objective of this report is to provide a comprehensive annual assessment of the U.S. offshore wind market. The report will be updated and published annually for a three-year period. The report was first published in early 2013 covering research performed in 2012. This 2nd annual report focuses on new developments that have occurred in 2013. The report will provide stakeholders with a reliable and consistent data source addressing entry barriers and U.S. competitiveness in the offshore wind market.

The report was produced by the Navigant Consortium, led by Navigant Consulting, Inc. (“Navigant”). Additional members of the Navigant Consortium include the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative (GLWC), Green Giraffe Energy Bankers, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Ocean & Coastal Consultants (a COWI company), and Tetra Tech EC, Inc.

Executive Summary

The U.S. offshore wind industry is transitioning from early development to demonstration of commercial viability. While there are no commercial-scale projects in operation or in the construction phase, there are eleven U.S. projects in advanced development, defined as having either been awarded a lease, conducted baseline or geophysical studies, or obtained a power purchase agreement (PPA). There are panels or task forces in place in at least 13 states to engage stakeholders to identify constraints and sites for offshore wind. U.S. policymakers are beginning to follow the examples in Europe that have proven successful in stimulating offshore wind technological advancement, project deployment, and job creation.

This report is the second annual assessment of the U.S. offshore wind market. It includes the following major sections:

  • Section 1: key data on developments in the offshore wind technology sector and the global development of offshore wind projects, with a particular focus on progress in the United States
  • Section 2: analysis of policy developments at the federal and state levels that have been effective in advancing offshore wind deployment in the United States
  • Section 3: analysis of actual and projected economic impact, including regional development and job creation
  • Section 4: analysis of developments in relevant sectors of the economy with the potential to affect offshore wind deployment in the United States

Section 1. Global Offshore Wind Development Trends 

There are approximately 5.3 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind installations worldwide. The majority of this activity continues to center on northwestern Europe, but development in China continues to progress. In 2012, more than 1,100 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity was added globally, with the United Kingdom alone accounting for 756 MW of new capacity. The European market will continue to grow rapidly over the next two years, with new and expanding projects likely to contribute a record-setting 2,900 MW in 2013 alone (mostly in Germany and the United Kingdom).

Since the last edition of this report, several potential U.S. offshore wind projects have achieved notable advancements in their development processes. In addition to two Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) commercial lease auctions for federal Wind Energy Areas (WEAs), other later-stage commercial-scale projects have made incremental progress toward starting construction. Eleven U.S. projects, representing 3,824 MW, now lie in advanced stages of development. A map showing the announced locations and capacities of these advanced-stage projects appears in Figure ES-1.

Figure ES-1. Proposed U.S. Offshore Wind Energy Projects in Advanced Development Stages by Jurisdiction and Project Size


Download full version (PDF): Offshore Wind Market and Economic Analysis

About the United States Department of Energy
“The mission of the Energy Department is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions.”


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