Offshore Wind Jobs and Economic Development Impacts in the United States: Four Regional Scenarios

Offshore wind has the potential to play a significant role in U.S. electricity generation. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates more than 1,000 gigawatts (GW) of electricity-generating potential in U.S. waters between 0 and 30 meters (m) deep and more than 4,200 GW total capacity in all coastal water (Musial and Ram 2010; Lopez et al. 2012). In its National Offshore Wind Strategy Guide, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) established a scenario that deployed 54 GW of offshore wind-generating capacity by 2030 and 10 GW by 2020 (Beaundry-Losique et al. 2011). Although as of this publication no commercial offshore wind development has occurred in the United States, fice offshore wind projects are in advanced stages of development. From a global perspective, most offshore development is located in Europe’s North Sea.

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