Offshore Wind Energy Seeks to Gain Momentum in the United States
Stoel Rives attorney Katie Roek participated in a recent Inside Renewable Energy podcast regarding offshore wind energy development in the United States. In Europe, the offshore wind energy market grew by 54% in 2009, with 577 Mw added to various national grids.
Roek described the offshore wind energy market in the United States as "still in its infancy." She noted that the U.S. wind power market is primarily independent power producer-based, unlike Europe, where utilities play a dominant role in wind power development and production, as the view in Europe is that utilities are much better positioned to take on the high cost risk associated with offshore wind projects. Furthermore, the United States possesses much greater terrestrial wind resources than Western Europe, which further militates against U.S. offshore wind development.
Nonetheless, Roek predicted that offshore wind projects will start gaining traction, particularly in the East Coast and Great Lakes regions. A combination of population density, market proximity, and a growing interest by states to generate their own energy and create jobs, should aid in this effort.
The Inside Renewable Energy podcast "Small Wind: An Evolution or Revolution?" was posted on RenewableEnergyWorld.com, March 31, 2010.