News Release from Windmesse.de


Wind Industry Profile of

Interview with Chris Long, Manager of Offshore Wind & Siting Policy at AWEA

Chris Long of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) talked to Windfair about the future of offshore wind.

Windfair: Chris, one of the big issues in offshore wind energy is costs. And of course one of the best ways to reduce costs is to install a lot of offshore turbines as fast as possible. To do so a huge amount of money must be raised. And so on... Where – In the technical field – do you see the biggest potential to effect economies? What are the most promising approaches for now and the near future?

Chris Long: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made a significant investment in Research and Development in order to help lower the levelized cost of energy for the U.S. offshore wind industry. In December of last year, DOE announced seven winners for its Advanced Technology Demonstration Project Initiative including projects based off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as in the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico. Each winner received $4 million to complete the engineering, site evaluation and planning phases of their projects. Upon completion of this phase, early next year DOE will select three of these projects to receive an additional $47 in funding for the follow-on design, fabrication and deployment. As a result, each project will be eligible to receive up to $51 million. The initiative will showcase a number of cost reducing technologies including innovative floating and fixed foundation designs.

Windfair: And of course there is politics that might help to reduce costs. What do you and AWEA ask of US politicians to make offshore wind an ongoing success?

Long: Predictable, stable, pro-growth tax policy is vital for the U.S. wind industry to continue to drive more efficient technology development, domestic manufacturing, and private sector capital into the U.S. economy. Specifically, the U.S. wind industry needs extensions of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for the longest practical term to give our businesses the ability to plan and invest in further improvements in wind technology, which will continue to bring consumer costs down. The ITC is particularly important to the offshore wind industry as offshore projects have longer permitting timelines and are more capital intensive than land-based projects.

Windfair: At RenewableUK Offshore in June you explained that you see great business potential between the US and Europe in the offshore sector. It's only been 4 months but can you already trace a practical development? If so, how?

Long: There are a number of international companies that are interested in the U.S. market and are making connections with U.S. companies including at AWEA's annual Offshore WINDPOWER and Exhibition in Providence. 2013 has been a major year for the U.S. offshore wind industry. Several projects are in the advanced stages of development and the first offshore wind turbine was deployed in the U.S. in June. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held the first competitive lease auction for the Wind Energy Area off Rhode Island and Massachusetts in late July and the second auction for the Wind Energy Area off Virginia in early September. Additional announcements are expected in other states later this year and early next year.

Thank you very much for the interview!


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