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Securing the framework conditions for offshore wind in New York

By State of Green, March 06, 2019

The state of New York aims to become a hub for the burgeoning offshore wind industry in the US. Recognising that this must be accompanied by strong port infrastructure and tangible benefits for the local community in which it operates, such as growth and job creation, the state is harnessing Danish expertise to ensure their ambitious visions become a sustainable reality.

US states situated along the eastern seaboard are powering ahead with plans to significantly increase the amount of green power in the electricity grid. In its quest to operate solely on clean energy by 2040, the state of New York intends to erect 9,000 megawatts of wind energy before 2035. Furthermore, the neighbouring states of Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maryland are also planning to construct offshore wind turbines capable of supplying 10 million US homes with power. These visions create not only significant business potential for companies with expertise within the wind sector – from manufacturers of from wind turbine blades to foundations and sea cables, but also the need to secure optimal framework conditions, such as port infrastructure, a robust supply chain and local employment.

Therefore, the Danish Energy Agency, in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and the Danish Cleantech Hub, hosted the high-level roundtable “New York Offshore Wind – Optimizing Local Economic Benefits” in New York last week. The aim of the conference was to discuss how New York can move ahead with its objectives and share some of the policies and competencies Denmark has obtained from developing its own wind hub. Denmark and the United States have a cross-national cooperation on offshore wind and the Danish embassy in Washington is working closely with a group of states on the American east coast in order to further develop the market and create a long lasting regional  offshore wind sector.

‘Over a number of years, the Trade Council and the Danish representations in the US have, in close cooperation with Danish companies have been working towards establishing the offshore wind industry there. From modest beginnings a few years ago, we can now see a number of eastern states with ambitious goals, which the Danish offshore industry is well-placed to assist with’, said Jess Møller Knudsen, head of the Trade Council at the Danish embassy in Washington.

”Offshore wind was born in Denmark, and I would even go so far to say that we are leaders within the area. When opportunities arise abroad, which particularly fit our Danish competencies, we should be ready to take them”, stated the Danish Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate Lars Chr. Lilleholt.

-Related solution: The world’s largest offshore wind farm

Danish offshore wind companies are eyeing the US market

Several Danish offshore wind companies have already entered the American market. One of these is Bladt Industries from Aalborg. The company is  a world leader within manufacturing of enormous offshore wind turbine foundations in steel. Given the eastern states’ plans to intensify their efforts in terms of wind energy, it is expected that a growing number of Danish wind companies will increase their presence in the US or enter for the first time.

“Danish companies are specialised in manufacturing parts for wind turbines – everything from blades to foundations to sea cables. The companies are already very aware about the American market, but with the offshore wind plans along the east coast, an entire new market is being created for the companies”, said Troels Ranis, head of the Confederation of Danish Industry’s energy division.

To allow The Danish Energy Agency and the Danish Ministry for Energy, Utilities and Climate are sending an offshore wind expert to the USA to intensify and expand cooperation at both the national and state level. In addition to this, the Confederation of Danish Industry, in collaboration with State of Green, has established Danish Clean Hub, which works to increase the visibility of Danish cleantech solutions within offshore wind to the state and city of New York.

-Related publication: Wind energy moving ahead (whitepaper)

Sources: the Danish Energy Agency, Energiwatch

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