Welcome to the Special Initiative on Offshore Wind
New Report Provides an Offshore Wind Procurement Menu for Delaware
Released to the public April 7, 2022
Download the Delaware Procurement report on SIOW’s Publications page
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind (SIOW) is an independent organization with a strong track record of providing objective strategic guidance on key issues in the offshore wind sector. SIOW uses fact-based research and multi-sector collaboration to provide expertise, analysis, information sharing, and strategic partnership with industry, advocacy, and government stakeholders to build understanding and drive the sustainable and responsible deployment of offshore wind. We are guided by a Steering Committee of diverse interests, including representation from offshore wind developers, NGOs, and state policy makers. We are funded by private foundations, do not offer memberships, and have no contractual obligations to any members in the offshore wind sector, all of which support our objectivity and unique approach. Work we have done in the past has addressed some key technical issues that we have observed in the industry, including roadmaps for reducing the cost of offshore wind in state procurement processes and analysis and forecast of supply chain benefits from the development of offshore wind.
OFFSHORE WIND AS A SOLUTION
Directly off the coast from America’s most populated and power hungry cities exists the most significant – yet untapped – potential for generating unlimited clean, renewable energy. Harnessing the full potential of the strong, consistent winds that blow off of our nations coastlines could generate as much as four times the amount of electricity currently generated in America. Tapping just a fraction of this massive offshore wind resource represents a key piece of the strategy for cutting carbon pollution, protecting public health, diversifying our energy supply, and moving America towards a clean energy economy.
Along the Atlantic coast alone, offshore wind represents the most significant developable renewable energy resource for East Coast states. The East Coast potential for offshore wind power is estimated to be more than 1,300 gigawatts of electricity generation to the East Coast – enough to power 85 million American homes and reduce carbon pollution by the equivalent of taking over 100 million cars off the road. When considering shipping lanes, bird flyways, and other sensitive ocean areas there are 330 gigawatts of “developable” resource – more than enough to supply all the electricity needs of the East Coast.
Offshore wind is unique in its ability to supply abundant, pollution-free power when and where we need it the most. In the marine environment, offshore winds blow during the points of highest electricity demand when the most expensive and polluting power sources are used – afternoons, summer heat waves, and winter cold snaps. Diversifying our energy mix with abundant, zero-fuel cost offshore wind energy during hours of peak demand is critical for displacing polluting power sources and protecting ratepayers from price spikes in the volatile fossil fuel markets.
The Special Initiative on Offshore Wind is housed at the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, New York Community Trust, John Merck Fund and Mertz Gilmore Foundation. Seeing the signals that the time is ripe for a fully dedicated policy, research and catalytic initiative, the support provided by these philanthropic organizations have been a significant booster of offshore wind efforts.
The University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (CEOE) is uniquely positioned to build awareness and consensus driving the deployment of offshore wind. The University’s Center for Research in Wind has a long record of offshore wind academic research and teaching. Recent notable research has been published on world wind power resources, and on running a region on offshore wind, onshore wind and solar. UD’s offshore wind academic programs are housed in the CEOE, but with strong links to the College of Engineering, Center for Composite Materials, and others.
STRATEGIC FOCUS AREAS
This initiative is separate from, yet complements, existing and long-standing University of Delaware efforts on offshore wind power housed in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, and UD’s Center for Research in Wind.
- Work to bridge understanding/collective action by capitalizing on lessons learned from Europe and the UK;
- Produce objective analytics of the value of offshore wind energy;
- Develop an understanding, compelling message on offshore wind’s value proposition;
- Conduct, with other offshore wind stakeholders, broad outreach and education to policymakers and decision-makers;
- Foster collaboration and innovation to increase market size and reduce cost;
- Serve as a resource to craft customized solutions/answers to states considering and/or pursuing offshore wind.