Due to escalating costs and the lengthy approval process for offshore leases, wind energy professionals are wary of the Biden administration’s ambition to greatly increase offshore wind power over the next few years, as reported by the Financial Times.
As part of its rapid green energy transition, the Biden administration wants to increase U.S. offshore wind power from less than one gigawatt to 30 gigawatts by the conclusion of 2030. Wind industry officials worry that the administration’s goal is too lofty, the Times noted, as projects are frequently delayed by a backlog in permits and pricey leases.
According to Molly Morris, the new U.S. offshore wind leader at Norwegian energy company Equinor, “If there continues to be significant delays and projects that are already in the pipeline getting pushed back — then it will be more difficult to meet that 30 by 30 target.”
The government has difficulty issuing the proper permits for a variety of energy projects, including offshore wind installations, which delays construction and raises prices.
Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, introduced a permitting bill in September that might have sped up the approval of significant fossil fuel, solar, and wind projects by the federal government; however, the provision was removed from a latest government funding bill after it was unable to secure enough support in the Senate.
“Our concern is that this could end up being a very difficult bottleneck,” Morris stated. “If we don’t get these projects that are in the forefront … permitted, then it’s very difficult to really get this industry off the ground.”
Additionally, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission would have had extra authority under Manchin’s measure to speed up the permitting of transmission lines that deliver electricity generated by offshore wind and other renewable sources to urban areas. According to the Department of Energy’s wind energy report from August, there are about 77 gigawatts of offshore wind projects waiting to be transmitted.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Executives also claim prices of federal leases for offshore wind developments are too high, which makes it difficult for wind developers to make profits, the Times reported. The federal New York Bight offshore wind auction, which offered six lease areas totaling over 488,000 acres, received $4.37 billion total in winning bids, representing the nation’s highest-grossing competitive offshore energy lease sale in history, according to an Interior Department news release.
Inflation is a further concern for wind firms and their equipment manufacturers as the cost of materials continues to rise, according to the Times. CONTINUE READING…