ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Unappreciated Value Of Offshore Wind
High values are blowing in offshore winds; policymakers may need more; New numbers show values that offset offshore wind’s high cost but omit key benefits.
Herman K. Trabish, May 15, 2018 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: Announcements on the East and West Coasts since this story ran promise huge growth for offshore wind over the next decade.
Building wind turbines to operate in harsh ocean conditions costs more and takes longer than building on land. The permitting process can be rigorous and lengthy. Construction requires special vessels and equipment and interconnection requires subsea engineering. But Estimating the Value of Offshore Wind Along the United States' Eastern Coast" from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) suggests the value of OSW makes it, in many locations adjacent to energy-hungry cities along the East Coast, a better bet than onshore wind. Considering an energy resource's full economic value along with its cost is common. Nuclear, coal and rooftop solar advocates insist those resources' values justify policy supports and incentives. This is the first time OSW's values have been rigorously quantified, and the LBNL researchers found they can be substantial…
LBNL provides the first rigorous assessment of OSW's economic value on the eastern seaboard. The data shows how the value varied by location, by season, and by time of day between 2007 and 2016. It also discusses the drivers that caused the energy, capacity and renewable energy credit (REC) values to vary. The analysis "provides important insights" for energy policymakers considering offshore-specific incentive programs and mandates," LBNL reports. But it does not "estimate the economic value or cost of other community, economic development, and environmental effects," LBNL acknowledges. Which is why one offshore wind developer told Utility Dive policymakers who want to take advantage of the resource need a more complete accounting of its value… click here for more
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