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Offshore Wind Electricity: A Viable Energy Option for the Coastal United States

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U.S. offshore wind energy resources are abundant, indigenous, and broadly dispersed among the most expensive and highly constrained electricity load centers. Economic capacity expansion models developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory show that offshore wind energy can compete in future U.S. electric energy markets without major changes in the market variables or revolutionary technological breakthroughs. However, significant research, development, and deployment will be needed to bring the current technology through a course of cost reductions. To maximize the resource potential, these reductions need to be made along parallel technology paths that will expand the available resource by allowing wind turbines to be installed in deep water. Analysis shows that incremental technology improvements leading to moderate cost reductions, and reasonable increases in the cost of conventional energy will help offshore wind achieve cost competitiveness by 2030 and become a major contributor to the energy supply of the United States. This paper describes a wide range of technical research and development that can reduce costs and improve technology for deep water deployment.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2007

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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