U.S. wind developers are set to take advantage of the final stretch of the production tax credits (PTC), installing more than 30 GW of new capacity over the next three years, according to new research at MAKE. Following this boom, annual wind installation volumes will begin to decline as the PTC phase-out begins, though projects built in 2021 with access to the 80% PTC will remain cost-competitive with solar PV and gas capacity in several states.
Drivers and barriers influencing wind capacity installations in the forecast period include carbon policies, interest from the commercial and industrial (C&I) sector and the rapid evolution of promising battery storage and EV technology, as well as plummeting costs of solar PV power and the extreme possible outcomes of actions undertaken by one of the most unpredictable presidents in U.S. history.
Three state-level competitive solicitations for offshore wind capacity have now concluded successfully, awarding offtake contracts and financial support to approximately 1.8 GW of offshore wind projects in federal waters off the coasts of four states.
In all, the forecast assumes more than 5 GW of new offshore wind capacity will be operational by YE/2027, but this will require inter-state and inter-developer coordination in the first half of the next decade before a domestic supply chain can develop to stabilize the sector’s volatility.
In Canada, MAKE’s forecast assumes less than 9 GW of new wind capacity will be installed between 2018 and 2027. As support schemes end in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia while demand for electricity in the region falls, and political backlash threatens established procurement mechanisms, policy changes incentivize a significant program of new wind build in Canada’s most carbon-intensive provinces, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
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