In an op-ed published in The Hill this morning, Nancy Sopko, AWEA’s lead on matters relating to offshore wind energy, took on some misleading claims about the technology and explained why it’s an important part of a clean energy future.
“The price consumers pay for onshore wind power has dropped by two-thirds over six years, to the point where it’s now the cheapest source of new electric generating capacity in some parts of the country and cost competitive in many more. That decline has passed billions of dollars in savings on to consumers. As the U.S. offshore wind industry develops, a similar price decline can be expected as the technology advances domestically.”
The commentary comes as construction finished on the country’s first offshore wind project earlier this summer, off the coast of Rhode Island. When Deepwater Wind’s Block Island wind farm comes online later this year, the U.S. will begin deploying a technology that has reliably supplied millions of Europeans with clean electricity for decades. And this comes with some unique advantages:
“Another advantage of offshore wind is that it allows electricity prices to be locked in for 20 years or more, protecting consumers from fluctuations in conventional fuel prices. That’s particularly important, because the abundant offshore U.S. wind resource is close to many of the country’s largest population centers, and it corresponds to periods of high demand, where wholesale electricity prices tend to be most expensive.”
Today, the U.S. has enough onshore wind to power 20 million typical American homes, and that number is expected to grow substantially in the years ahead. While offshore wind is just getting started in the U.S., its potential remains strong and it too will be a part of our clean energy future.