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U.S. Department of Energy Reports Record Production And Job Growth In U.S. Wind Power; Guice Offshore Salutes American Clean Power Week

U.S. Department Of Energy Finds Record Production And Job Growth In U.S. Wind Power Sector; American Clean Power Week

It’s American Clean Power Week (August 15-19) and, to mark America’s substantial advancements in the clean energy field, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released three reports today, August 16, 2022, showing that wind power remains one of America’s fastest growing energy sources and a generator of high-quality jobs.

Wind power accounted for 32 percent of U.S. energy capacity growth in 2021, employs 120,000 Americans, and now provides enough energy to power 40 million American homes. The 2021 wind market reports show that the domestic expansion of wind power is proving to be an essential source of clean, cheap energy generation that supports the federal government’s goals of reaching 100 percent clean electricity by 2035 and a net zero economy by 2050. 

“These reports show U.S. wind energy deployment and generating capacity are booming—delivering cheap, reliable, and clean energy to power even more American homes and businesses,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “The rapid technological and industrial advances in the domestic wind sector are creating new jobs for the clean energy workforce and assuring wind power’s critical role in achieving President Biden’s climate and decarbonization goals.” 

Technology advancement, state-level policies, and the federal production tax credit (PTC) have fueled the wind sector’s growth in recent years, but the PTC for wind expired at the end of 2021, creating market uncertainty. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which invests billions of dollars in wind energy by extending the PTC for at least 10 years and encouraging investment in American clean energy manufacturing, gives long-term certainty to the wind industry and is likely to fuel the sector’s rapid growth in the years to come. 

The Inflation Reduction Act includes long-term extensions of critical tax incentives supporting the deployment of all three wind applications – land-based, offshore and distributed – and new programs to support the siting and construction of high-voltage transmission lines, which will be important for both land-based and offshore wind. Also included are new production-based tax credits for domestic manufacturing and supply of wind components and equipment, which will provide strong incentives to onshore key supply chains of wind turbines and related components. 

The 2022 edition of the Offshore Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, found that the capacity of U.S. offshore wind energy projects being developed and currently operating increased 14 percent from the previous year to 40,083 MW. This includes two operating projects totaling 42 MW and 38 projects under development totaling 35,509 MW, enough to potentially power about 13 million American homes.

The report also found:

  • The Biden-Harris administration significantly expanded offshore wind development in new areas of the country, including six new lease areas auctioned in the New York Bight and two new lease areas auctioned in Long Bay, off the coast of the Carolinas. There are also plans to lease new areas in California, the Gulf of Mexico, the Central Atlantic, Oregon, and the Gulf of Maine. 
  • As of May 2022, 24 offshore wind projects have signed contracts to sell their power, totaling 17,579 MW.
  • New York had the highest energy capacity in the U.S. offshore wind energy pipeline, with 11,162 MW, followed by Massachusetts (8,553 MW), New Jersey (4,758 MW), and California (4,532 MW).
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is planning areas for future leasing that could potentially provide another 4,532 MW of power.
  • The global capacity for proposed floating offshore wind energy—turbines mounted to a floating foundation or substructure—more than doubled in 2021 from 26,529 MW to 60,746 MW. Deployment of this technology is likely to continue gaining momentum as the industry works to lower costs through innovation and global market growth.  

Guice Offshore, widely considered to be the U.S Flag leader in the operation of dynamically positioned Jones Act-qualified mini-supply vessels and compact, cost-effective multi-purpose vessels for specialty markets such as offshore wind energy, is playing a pivotal role in providing one of the primary needs in the offshore wind supply chain–offshore supply vessels for a multitude of needs, including crew transfer, equipment transport and subsea surveying.

The 2022 edition of the Land-Based Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, detailed 13,413 MW of new utility-scale land-based wind generation capacity added in 2021 — the equivalent of powering more than 4 million American homes and representing $20 billion investment in new wind power investment.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Wind energy provided more than 9 percent of total electricity nationwide, more than 50 percent in Iowa and South Dakota and 30 percent in Kansas, Oklahoma, and North Dakota.
  • Twenty-two states installed new utility-scale land-based wind turbines in 2021.  Texas installed the most capacity, with 3,343 MW.  Other leading states include Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Kansas, which all added more than 1,000 MW of capacity in 2021.
  • Wind turbines continue to grow in size and power, leading to more cheap clean energy production.  The average capacity of newly installed wind turbines grew 9% from 2020 to 2021, to 3 MW. 
  • For wind projects built in 2021, the researchers estimated public health benefits, climate benefits, and value to the grid are worth more than triple the cost of generating electricity from wind energy.

The 2022 edition of the Distributed Wind Market Report, prepared by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, notes that 1,751 distributed wind turbines were added across 15 states. The turbines, which serve on-site energy demand or support operation of local electricity distribution networks, total 11.7MW of new capacity and represent $41 million in new investment in 2021.

  • Cumulative U.S. distributed wind capacity stands at 1,075 MW from the more than 89,000 wind turbines across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
  • Rhode Island, Kansas, and Minnesota led the United States in distributed wind capacity additions in 2021, with each state completing a large-scale distributed wind project.
  • For small wind capacity additions, defined as turbines up to 100 kilowatts in size, Minnesota led the nation in 2021. This is largely attributed to a push to sell small wind capacity to agricultural markets, and a decline of small wind installations in New York following the discontinuation of its state incentive program. 

The three market reports, including supporting blogs, videos, and infographics, are available at energy.gov/windreport.  

Learn more about the Wind Energy Technologies Office in DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

 

American Clean Power Week

August 15–19, 2022

It’s American Clean Power Week (ACPW)–a nationwide celebration of clean energy and the good-paying jobs the clean energy industry creates for Americans across all 50 states!  Its purpose is to showcase the clean energy technologies – land-based wind, offshore wind, solar, energy storage, and transmission infrastructure – that are powering homes and businesses, creating good-paying jobs, investing in communities, reducing costs for consumers, and helping to meet our national 100 percent carbon-free power goal by 2035.

For an entire week, ACPW celebrates the many ways clean energy is building a better future for the United States. This year, ACPW is focused on the theme: Building the Clean Energy Economy, which will highlight the economic and environmental benefits clean energy technologies bring to communities across America.

During this week, ACPW is showcasing clean energy technologies—like those for offshore wind, land-based wind and distributed wind. 

Learn more on the official website.

Below, some Clean Power news from the U.S. Department of Energy also released today! 

Worldwide Experts Lay Out Grand Challenges of Wind Energy Advancement

To accelerate the global potential of wind energy, the wind industry must measure up to critical scientific, social, and environmental challenges. In a series of 10 articles, over 100 wind energy experts from around the world are joining forces to identify the most critical needs for wind energy advancement.

Building off previous work identifying the “grand challenges” for wind energy, the wind energy experts, led by NREL researchers, have classified the required efforts under five categories, which now include environmental and social issues in addition to technical needs.  Learn more about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory-led article series.

U.S. Department of Energy Launches New Initiative to Improve Clean Energy Interconnection

How will the current energy grid adapt to growing supplies and varieties of renewable energy?  The DOE recently launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X), a program aimed at creating a more efficient and reliable electric grid.  Industry and DOE partners are uniting to design better clean energy transmission and distribution technology.

Read the full R&D feature to learn more.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Releases Databases of Local Ordinances for Siting Wind and Solar Energy Projects

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released two new databases of state and local wind and solar energy zoning laws and ordinances in the United States. The datasets are machine readable so geospatial analysts and researchers can readily analyze siting impacts, which can have a measurable impact on U.S. renewable energy resource potential. This work is part of ongoing research at NREL to explore the dynamics of land use and clean energy deployment.

 

Upcoming Offshore Wind Events

American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2022

Conference:  Sept. 11–14, 2022, Portland, ME

Join leading experts to chart a course for floating offshore wind energy in the United States. The American Floating Offshore Wind Technical Summit 2022 will consist of two full days of sessions and a field trip to the University of Maine to tour the Advanced Structures & Composites Center, a world-class research facility with the largest university-based research team focused on floating offshore wind technologies. For more information, visit the event website.

Global Clean Energy Action Forum

Forum: Sept. 21–23, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA

DOE is partnering with Carnegie Mellon University to launch and host the 2022 Global Clean Energy Action Forum, which will directly follow the UN General Assembly. Clean energy leaders from around the world will unite to accelerate the clean energy transition while responding to global security needs. This event will feature U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm, CEOs, and clean energy experts participating in a variety of events, including a high-level plenary session, technical roundtables, a clean energy technology showcase, and more. Visit the Global Clean Energy Action Forum website for more information.

Offshore WINDPOWER Conference and Exhibition

Conference: Oct. 18–19, 2022, Providence, RI

The American Clean Power Association is hosting the Offshore WINDPOWER conference, which will feature panels, presentations, workshops, and poster sessions focusing on the future of offshore wind energy. Stop by the DOE booth to learn about its offshore wind research and newest initiatives. Find more information on the event website.

Sandia Blade Workshop

Workshop: Oct. 17–20, 2022, Albuquerque, NM

The workshop brings together wind industry experts, wind farm stakeholders and operators, manufacturers, and researchers to address the major topics for wind turbine blades, facilitate interaction and networking among the attendees, and identify future technology pathways. For more information, visit the Sandia National Laboratories website.


In Case You Missed It

  • DOE hosted a WINDExchange webinar on below-the-water offshore wind energy technology!  Didn’t get to tune in?  Check out the recorded video.
  • Carbon Rivers created a new fiberglass recycling technology to help create a circular economy for recycling wind turbine blades.
  • DOE announced the first round of participants for the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition.
  • DOE awarded $137 million for small businesses focused on clean energy research and development.
  • NREL recently published a presentation on a technical report that explores the value and operational impact of integrating offshore wind along Oregon’s coastline.
  • Berkeley Lab analyzed the potential energy justice implications of solar and wind project siting patterns in this new journal article.

 

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