In May 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $47 million in financial support for three offshore wind demonstration projects expected to be operational by 2017. A year later, the three projects are facing significant hurdles arising from the high cost of developing offshore wind in the United States.
Despite offshore wind being stronger and more consistent than onshore wind, the industry has yet to install a demonstration project in the United States. As the broader renewable energy industry transitions from policy to economic drivers, the offshore wind industry is likely to experience sustained challenges in the effort to scale and drive cost declines. By comparison, the solar industry benefited from precipitous cost declines fortuitously overlapping with robust policy support for renewable energy (e.g., emergence of state portfolio standard and sustained federal tax credit).
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