A new report from the University of Delaware’s Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) — created for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority — has outlined the key steps necessary for reducing the costs of offshore wind power in New York State over the coming decade, and thereby spurring development.
The costs associated with offshore wind energy in the state could be reduced by as much as 50% during this time period via the combined actions of: specific actions taken by New York State and/or other states, ongoing technological improvements, and continuing industry advances; according to the new study/report.
One of the key conclusions of the new report is that support of offshore wind energy development at scale, rather than on a project-by-project basis, would have the greatest effect on costs amongst the economical options.
According to the study, though, there are many other possibilities, including: developing specific infrastructure to help reduce costs; the development and use of innovative financing mechanisms; and the support of “site characterization for early projects to reduce development expenses and risk.”
As the report makes a point of noting, the US is still lacking any significant offshore wind energy capacity — nothing’s been completed to date owing to a lack of operational infrastructure and other issues. If this is to change anytime soon, proactive actions need to be taken.
The report has identified multiple different paths that can be taken for a reduction in costs — with direct actions available to New York State comprising a potential 30% in cost reduction, and technological + industry advances comprising a further 20%.
“Well-designed policies and actions taken by New York, as well as by other states, can play an essential role in helping New York City and other US East Coast population centers benefit from gigawatts of clean energy that could be generated by deploying wind turbines off the Atlantic coast,” stated Stephanie McClellan, Director, SIOW.
“In Europe, advanced offshore wind turbines are already in the water and powering the grid today,” McClellan continued. “The US can take advantage of innovations and cost efficiencies that have already been developed in Germany, Denmark, and elsewhere. The key for US states is to send clear signals to the markets and begin implementing these steps now to help make offshore wind more competitive with other sources of electricity.”
“New York State is laying the groundwork to bring closer the potential of large-scale development of offshore wind and accelerate the cost savings we expect can be achieved through identified actions,” stated John B Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “As cost-reduction within the offshore wind sector occurs, and as we develop approaches whether independently or in collaboration with other states to integrating the value of this renewable resource, offshore wind has the potential to support the State’s energy goals under Governor Cuomo. While offering the promise of a vast renewable energy resource for the state’s most populous region, it will also bring with it economic development, job creation, and a cleaner environment.”
Those interested in reading the full report can find it here.