Cost of offshore wind energy projects set to fall over the next 10 yearsMarch 22, 2016
Study shows that wind energy is becoming more affordable
The University of Delaware has released a new study that highlights the cost of developing offshore wind energy projects. The study suggests that the cost of this projects will drop substantially over the next decade, making it easier for such projects to take form. Offshore wind projects are becoming more popular in the United States because of their potential to produce large quantities of electrical power. These projects take advantage of the strong wind currents that can be found at sea, which are uninhibited by geological structures.
Offshore projects are considered expensive because of the logistics involved in their development
The study shows that one of the major barriers preventing more offshore wind projects from taking form is their high price. The capital needed to develop these projects is so high because offshore wind farms are not easy to build. Installing wind turbines in deep ocean environments has many logistical complications and offshore projects are still quite new. Developing these projects has proved challenging in the past, even with the use of innovative technology and design concepts.
Cost of offshore projects expected to fall by over 50% over the next decade
As energy developers become more experienced with the construction of offshore wind farms, the cost of these projects is expected to fall by more than 50% over the next 10 years. This estimate is based on a plan to develop several offshore wind projects along the coast of Massachusetts. These projects are expected to finish development by 2030 and will produce an estimated 2,000 megawatts of electrical power. In the wake of these project’s completion, the cost of wind turbines and development costs are likely to fall significantly.
Production Tax Credit continues providing aid to the wind sector
Wind projects are also receiving strong support from the United States’ Production Tax Credit. This initiative provides financial support for various types of wind farms. In the past, this initiative has been allowed to expire by the federal government, which resulted in a fall in the development of wind projects. The Production Tax Credit has, however, been renewed by Congress, ensuring that it will continue to provide support for the years to come.
Exactly how expensive offshore wind energy compared to onshore wind energy? Neither study for this article addresses that issue which is a pity because is pretty relevant to whether we can expect ocean-based wind turbines to spring up anytime in the near future.