US states ‘doubling down’ on offshore wind, says Oceantic Network
The U.S. is committed to offshore wind and is looking to advance its development, according to Liz Burdock, President and CEO of Oceantic Network, formerly known as Business Network for Offshore Wind, a non-profit organization that provides networking, communications and educational platforms to support stakeholders participation in the offshore wind and other ocean renewable energies.
During a presentation at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) 2023, Burdock claimed that the Biden-Harris administration has been focused on offshore wind, pointing out a 30-gigawatt goal by 2030 and a 15-gigawatt goal by 2045 for floating offshore wind.
Burdock said the administration has worked on formalizing a partnership between the federal government and the state governments, as well as on the leasing and permitting process, adding that an ‘Infrastructure Investment Act’ was also created.
To note, the U.S. market is a bifurcated system which includes three actors: the federal government, the states and the developers. The federal government identifies wind energy areas off of the coast, leases them through an auction process and regulates the projects. The states provide the offtake for offshore wind projects and the developers are leaseholders who buy the rights to develop projects and then work through the development process. Burdock also added the Oceantic Network as another actor that performs as a connective tissue that brings the three actors together.
In regard to the states, Burdock mentioned that during the last three years, they have either doubled or tripled their goals, noting: “Our states are not backing away from offshore wind… They are doubling down. They are making commitments to offshore wind… They are also looking very quickly to rebid projects and making significant investments where they need to make them.”
Commenting on the challenges in the U.S. offshore wind market, Burdock said they include transmission, supply chain capacity constraints, workforce constraints, local concerns, global demand and federal and state coordination.
“We need more businesses for our ambitious goals. We need more either local suppliers or we need more companies from outside the U.S. coming in to help us,” Burdock added.
Burdock also provided updates on U.S. projects and their permitting status, emphasizing that during the last three years, almost $26.3 billion were invested into the industry, and noting that an influx of investment in the U.S. and the U.S. offshore wind industry is expected with the release of guidelines on, for example, manufacturing, vessels and energy storage.
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