The East Coast is set for a surge in offshore wind farm construction, which the International Energy Agency predicts could provide more than enough clean energy to meet the world’s future electricity needs.
In a comprehensive global study, the Paris-based IEA also forecasts that offshore wind energy could become a $1 trillion industry by 2040, with major U.S. growth expected in the next decade.
“Offshore wind currently provides just 0.3% of global power generation, but its potential is vast,” IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said in a press release accompanying the study late last week.
Major technological breakthroughs, coupled with increasingly favorable government regulations, have led to a boom in projects using larger turbines and floating foundations that allow for deeper water operations, IEA officials said.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 9% of the national electricity supply is expected to come from wind power by 2020. Industry data predicts overall wind energy production, from onshore and offshore sources, to power around 60 million U.S. homes by 2050.