Mid-Atlantic
Business Network for Offshore Wind

NJ - Offshore Wind Energy Sector Has Big Gains, and Growing Pains

Against the backdrop of new energy pressure from Russia, U.S., and European officials and company executives meeting last month in Atlantic City, N.J., at a leading business conference on offshore wind energy touted its potential to propel transition from fossil fuel dependence.

Against the backdrop of new energy pressure from Russia, U.S., and European officials and company executives meeting last month in Atlantic City, N.J., at a leading business conference on offshore wind energy touted its potential to propel transition from fossil fuel dependence. But they acknowledged still nagging market uncertainties and need for government support to meet lofty deployment targets for this decade and beyond.

“Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine has shown us that the world cannot depend on petro-dictators, on autocrats for our energy needs,” U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told the International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum conference April 27, sponsored by the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “We have a long way to go to match the 4,500 turbines dotting the coastline of Europe, but we’ll get there. We are on a war footing and you are the army we need.”

Her European peer Kadri Simson, EU Commissioner for Energy, said that while bumped-up U.S. shipments of liquefied natural gas (LNG) would help Europe's energy situation “in the short term, [it] is committed to its longer term transition to clean energy.”

The Biden Administration has set a 30-GW goal for U.S. offshore wind deployment by 2030, with the EU targeting double that or more. The fuel crisis in Europe prompted by the Ukraine war “only signals to both the EU and the U.S. that we must accelerate,” said Granholm.

Booming Metrics

Growing global interest in offshore wind project development was visible at this year’s conference, with some 2,800 attendees more than doubling the total of last year’s event, and similar growth clearly evident at the Atlantic City Convention Center’s exhibition hall, with construction unions, engineering firms and other sector companies among more than 200 exhibitors from 25 countries.

Attendees got good news with the U.S. Interior Dept. announcing April 27 that it seeks public comment on a plan to open six new Atlantic Ocean areas south of Delaware for potential lease, possibly within one year, totaling about 3.9 million acres. Another 1.2 million acres off Oregon also is eyed. Based on feedback that would include impacts voiced by other ocean users, the actual lease sites would be smaller than areas now designated. A public comment period on the proposal will end June 28

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