In light of recent comments regarding the US President’s focus on America’s oil and gas production and the desire to stoke the flames of the coal industry, Westwood Global Energy Group’s (WGEG’s) World Offshore Wind Market Forecast 2017-2026 decided to explore whether a Trump presidency is good or bad for the USA’s offshore wind industry.
Sections of the report look at whether Republican policy under Donald Trump would actually hinder the progress of America’s wind industry or whether the industry growth continues unabated despite the President’s very public endorsement of, so called, ‘dirty energy’.
The US President’s dislike for wind turbines has been well documented in Scotland with the former businessman and reality TV star taking his legal battle to the Scottish parliament.
The forecast stated that cumulative capacity is set to grow from 30 MW in 2016 to 2.5 GW by 2026, with an additional 1 GW of capacity from projects which have not yet passed conceptual phases, assuming an offshore wind target of 5GW by 2030.
US offshore wind expenditure is forecast to total $28bn between 2017 and 2026, with a 39% year-on-year growth. Hardware Capex is expected to amount to €19.1bn, accounting for 68% of total spend, followed by installation at €6.2bn (22%) and planning and development at €2.9bn (10%). The US total population of operational turbines is expected to grow from 6 in 2016 to 580 by 2026.
Though slow in coming to the table, with its first offshore windfarm only being installed off Rhode Island in late 2016, the WGEG’s report shows real possibilities for growth and no substantial evidence that a Trump Presidency is having a detrimental effect on the growth of the wind energy industry.
The Westwood group noted: “Despite president Trump’s pro-oil and gas stance and his decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord, there are some positive signs that US offshore wind is gaining momentum.”
“More importantly, as each state has its own renewable electricity mandates, the withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is likely to affect emission targets at a federal level only. It remains to be seen the extent to which President Trump will be able to influence individual states’ renewable policies.”