U.S. agencies ink deal to build on Scandinavia’s successful offshore wind energy experience

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today hailed progress by American agencies in working with their Scandinavian counterparts to expedite the development of offshore wind in this country.


Today the leaders of the United States, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden released a joint statement promising leadership in the fight against climate change which included cooperation to finance and deploy clean energy. Also released today was a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the government of Denmark to work together to develop more offshore wind power.

“America is looking in the right places to share best practices about financing, locating, and operating successful offshore wind farms,” said Nancy Sopko, speaking for AWEA’s offshore wind program. “Denmark has blazed the way to adoption of wind energy with over 40 percent of its electricity already coming from wind, and about a quarter of that from offshore turbines. There’s much to learn from their decades of experience and we’re excited about the prospects for this new agreement.”

Offshore wind is an important component of the U.S. Department of Energy’s recently updated Wind Vision, under which DOE says wind power can quadruple by 2030 to supply 20 percent of U.S. electricity.

The first five offshore wind turbines are now under construction off Rhode Island by Deepwater Wind, and are expected to go online this fall. BOEM has issued 11 commercial wind leases along the Atlantic coast, which when fully developed, would generate enough energy to power over 4 million homes.

Land-based wind energy currently generates enough low-cost electricity in America to power 20 million homes, employs a record 88,000 people, and is responsible for the fastest-growing job description in the country: “Wind turbine technician.” By 2030, DOE estimates the wind energy industry as a whole can employ 380,000 Americans.

Members of the media can learn first-hand about the next generation of American wind energy at this month’s WINDPOWER Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans, May 23-26. Attendees can network with industry leaders at the largest wind power trade show in the Western Hemisphere. Registration and press accreditation is now open.