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When The Wind Blows - Offshore Wind Stung By Project Cancellations, But Progress Can Be Seen Too

It’s been a rough few weeks for the offshore wind industry, highlighted by Ørsted’s decision to cancel two high-profile projects in the Northeast: Ocean Wind 1 and Ocean Wind 2. The industry continues to be plagued by a host of problems around inflation, the supply chain and permitting, leading some developers to write-down losses and question whether their projects remain economically viable. But it hasn’t all been bad news, as other projects have been able to move forward and hit major milestones. In today’s RBN blog, we look at the recent cancellations, some key projects that have been approved or are advancing, and what we’ll be watching for over the next several months. 

We’ve written a lot over the past couple of years about how the world’s ongoing effort to decarbonize isn’t going to be a straight line leading directly to abundant, carbon-free power and a net-zero world. The increased deployment of electric vehicles (EVs), the development of large-scale carbon-capture projects, and the creation of a clean hydrogen industry are all seen by proponents as important elements of a lower-carbon economy, but each faces its own headwinds to widespread adoption and long-term growth. And as we wrote in Part 1 of this blog series, it’s much the same situation for offshore wind.

U.S. Wind Energy Pipeline by Classification Status as of May 31, 2023

Figure 1. U.S. Wind Energy Pipeline by Classification Status as of May 31, 2023.

Source: Offshore Wind Market Report 

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