Offshore wind power is a proven clean energy technology. Deployed at scale, it can play a key role in slowing the pace of climate change by producing electricity without the harmful burning of fossil fuels.
The United States has abundant offshore wind resources in the ocean waters just off the East and West coasts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the strong and consistent winds off U.S. shores could generate over 2,000 GW of electricity – roughly double the capacity of the country’s existing generating plants – using technology available right now.
Climate change is no longer on the horizon. Already, it is affecting our environment, our health, and our communities as storms, wildfires, droughts, and heat waves become increasingly common and severe. In the US, the latest National Climate Assessment predicted that impacts of unmitigated climate change could cost more than 10 percent of the nation’s GDP by 2100 (double the percent of GDP loss from the Great Recession) and roughly $160 billion in lost wages by 2090, while contributing to a host of associated problems such as food shortages and higher consumer prices.
Fortunately, there is truly a silver lining to this ominous cloud - because the strategies and technologies society can and must deploy to curtail climate change also promise to deliver a wealth of co-benefits. From new local industries and good paying jobs to cleaner air and a more secure energy future, this serious and daunting challenge is also a transformative opportunity.
EnBW AG, which built Germany’s first commercial scale offshore wind project in 2011, is currently developing He Dreiht, a 900 MW offshore wind project in the North Sea that will not require any government subsidies. This project is the clearest sign yet that EnBW has the expertise and experience necessary to build affordable offshore wind projects that can compete with fossil fuel-generated electricity prices.
Here in North America, the 2017 competitive power procurement in Massachusetts showed for the first time the cost effectiveness of wind-generated electricity. While there was enthusiasm previously about the potential environmental and job benefits of offshore wind, now there is excitement about the price as well. The ambitious offshore wind targets set by the states of New York and New Jersey, 9,000 and 3,500 MW, respectively, prove confidence on the part of state leaders that offshore wind will be a benefit, not a burden, to their constituents.
Since most Americans live near the coast, it comes as no surprise that almost 80 percent of the US electricity demand occurs in coastal and Great Lakes states. This makes offshore wind an ideal – and practical - resource for generating electricity where it’s needed most.
Offshore wind is a home-grown source of electricity that will transform North America’s energy profile. And in a true win-win scenario, offshore wind power will yield abundant economic benefits such as long-term, sustainable jobs while providing clean, emission-free electricity. A Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) report has estimated the total possible jobs associated with the new US offshore wind industry at up to 36,000.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) is forecasting that US electricity demand will increase 31 percent from 2019 to 2050. Meanwhile, many older fossil fuel generating plants are phasing out – coal generating capacity is projected by the EIA to decrease 35 percent by 2050. At the same time, America’s coastal population centers are booming and require additional energy generation to meet demand. Offshore wind is one of the only resources that can generate power at the scale needed and do it in a clean and economical way.
Who we are
EnBW North America is an offshore wind development company combining U.S. leadership with German engineering expertise with a goal of building affordable offshore wind energy projects on both the East and West coasts of the United States. In addition to helping states meet their climate and clean energy goals, we intend to partner with local leaders and communities to create jobs and develop economic opportunities.