The US offshore wind industry is poised for substantial growth, thanks to falling costs and increasing recognition by state and federal policy makers that there are tremendous economic benefits in harnessing clean, renewable energy offshore.

BW Research, on behalf of E2, found that if each of the five states below added an average-sized offshore wind energy farm (352 MW) nearly 25,000 construction and operational jobs would be created up and down the eastern seaboard.

The Department of Interior is developing lease sales for a strong pipeline of projects in this region—28 in total—which could equal 23,735 MW of new generating capacity, which if all developed would result in tens of thousands of more jobs and added economic benefits for those states.

Through its expected growth over the next several years, offshore wind energy has the potential to significantly add to the Gross Regional Product (GRP) and state and federal tax revenues of South and North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York.

Offshore wind economical potential

If New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina added an average-sized offshore wind energy farm (352 MW), nearly 25,000 jobs and $3.6 billion would be added to the states’ economies:

  • South Carolina – 5,647 jobs and $878 million economic benefits
  • North Carolina – 5,522 jobs and $710 million economic benefits
  • Virginia – 4,377 jobs and $641 million economic benefits
  • New Jersey – 4,313 jobs and $702 million economic benefits
  • New York – 4,063 jobs and $737 million economic benefits

Offshore drilling economic risk

An one-month beach and fishing closure due to an oil spill off the coasts of New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina would cost over $2.7 billion in GDP and $1.3 billion in lost wages.

  • South Carolina – $117 million in lost wages and $314 million in GDP
  • North Carolina – $57 million in lost wages and $120 million in GDP
  • Virginia – $90 million in lost wages and $175 million in GDP
  • New Jersey – $163 million in lost wages and $307 million in GDP
  • New York – $870 million in lost wages and $1.8 billion in GDP

The conclusions of this analysis are clear: Responsible offshore wind development is a source for new employment and economic growth while the potential oil spill threats that could arise from an offshore drilling accident jeopardize jobs and businesses that rely on a clean ocean environment.

The report comes about a week after the Business Network for Offshore Wind announced cooperation with New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Maryland to help these states advance offshore wind projects and promote green energy.

Further details can be found herebelow: