Report by Brattle Economists Analyzes the Impact of Developing an Offshore Wind Industry in the United States
A newly released report prepared by economists at The Brattle Group provides an independent economic analysis of the impact of developing an entire offshore wind industry in the United States. The study finds that an investment between $18.5 and $52 billion from 2014 to 2030 may be sufficient to enable offshore wind in the United States to compete with conventional and alterative renewable energy sources. Additionally, the investment would produce only modest increases in the average consumer’s monthly bill – in the range of $0.25 to $2.08 if the cost is spread across all electricity consumers in the United States, and between $0.51 and $4.29 if the cost is confined to only those states where offshore wind would be deployed, primarily in the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes region.
At present, the expected cost of energy produced from offshore wind is likely to significantly exceed the cost of generating electricity from fossil-fuel based generation technologies or other renewable resources. To provide an economically-sound analysis of the rationale for supporting the development of offshore wind in the United States, Brattle economists analyzed the required “learning investment,” or the total amount of funding required to bring offshore wind to a scale where it can compete with fossil generation on a cost basis. They find that the required level of learning investment for offshore wind is relatively modest and comparable to the amount of subsidies provided to other energy sources over the past half century.
The report, which was commissioned by the Center for American Progress, the Clean Energy States Alliance, the Sierra Club, and the U.S. Offshore Wind Collaboration, was authored by Brattle principals Dr. Jurgen Weiss, Dr. Mark Sarro, and Dr. Mark Berkman. It is available for download below.
A Learning Investment-based Analysis of the Economic Potential for Offshore Wind: The case of the United States