Support For Offshore Wind Sinks as Costs Soar


By David Wojick

Things are looking bad for offshore wind in America (which makes me happy). On one hand, opposition is growing. On the other, the cost crisis is driving prices way up. Whether the offshore US boom will bust remains to be seen, but it is certainly possible. Here’s hoping.

Bad news for the industry is coming in daily, so there is too much to report. Here are just a few samples to give the flavor of the debacle in progress.

In New Jersey, we get this dramatic report of a poll: “Support for Wind Energy Plunges”.

Here is their summary: “A majority of New Jerseyans continue to favor the development of offshore wind energy, but the current level of support is far below the widespread backing it has received in polls over the prior 15 years. The Monmouth University Poll finds that 4 in 10 residents think wind farms could hurt the state’s summer tourism economy, and just under half see a connection between wind energy development and the recent spate of whales washing up on New Jersey beaches. Few see wind energy leading to major job growth in the state.”

The number of New Jersey residents who support offshore wind fell by more than 20 percent since 2019, from 76 percent four years ago to just over half (54 percent) now, and the number of those opposing offshore wind has climbed from 15 percent to 40 percent since 2019.

New Jersey is one of the two states that hold statewide elections in off-years, so theirs is coming in November. Offshore wind has now become an election issue. CFACT has been very active there.

Of course, the developers say we opponents of wind are lying. What else can they say, since they have no real defense? Here is a good example: “Support for Offshore Wind in New Jersey Drops, Industry Points to Effect of Misinformation”.

It is the usual nonsense. We opponents of offshore wind technology are all shills of big oil; these monsters are needed to stop global warming; we don’t understand that the technology is harmless, etc. Pure rhetorical junk.

Further north, the entire Fisherman’s Advisory Board has resigned from the Rhode Island offshore approval decision process. This is a big deal because the Rhode Island Fisherman’s Advisory Board is an integral part of the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP), which is a State process hailed as the “gold standard for offshore wind development”. Rhode Island is allowed to apply this process to certain offshore wind projects in federal waters that impact Rhode Island residents and industries, most importantly the fishing industry. It falls under the Coastal Zone Management Act through a process called “consistency review”, where a state can have a say in projects in federal waters if they affect the state. In that case, the state can require that the project be held to certain state CZMA standards.

Here is the scathing first paragraph of the “We quit” letter: “We, the undersigned members of the Rhode Island Fisherman’s Advisory Board (FAB), hereby resign and refuse to participate any longer in the Rhode Island Ocean SAMP process. It has become abundantly clear that the Rhode Island CRMC (Coastal Resources Management Council) has made deference to offshore wind developers its top priority regardless of the requirements of the Ocean SAMP, the cost to the environment, or the impacts to Rhode Island’s fishing industry. In staff’s own words, the purpose of the FAB/CRMC review process of offshore wind projects is to move the permits forward. We as members of the FAB thought that the purpose of FAB/CRMC review was to ensure that offshore wind projects conformed to the requirements and restrictions of the Ocean SAMP. We were wrong. The Ocean SAMP process has been reduced to mere political theater, to which we refuse to lend any further credence by our presence.”

For the full letter, see “Fishermen’s Advisory Board Done Playing Role in CRMC’s Political Theater”.

In between Rhode Island and New Jersey, Equinor and BP are seeking a whopping 54% hike in New York offshore wind power payments. The price hike for Empire Wind 1 would be $159.64 per Megawatt-hour  (MWh) from $118.56; for Empire Wind 2, the bump would be $177.84 per MWh from $107.50, and for Beacon Wind, the enhanced price would be $190.82 from $118.00. These are huge increases.

Back in New Jersey, the biggest Atlantic wind developer — Ørsted — is suing Cape May County and Atlantic City for not issuing permits they have vowed not to do. Speaking of Ørsted:

“Orsted (stock price) plunges 20% on risk of $2.3 billion in US impairments”.

“Orsted delays 1st New Jersey wind farm until 2026; not ready to ‘walk away’ from project”.

They state that, given huge increases in costs, they can’t make money on the project.  For now, they are not walking away from their numerous US projects but will reconsider long-term plans by the end of the year.

Back in Rhode Island: “Second Revolution Wind Project Rejected by Rhode Island Energy”.

Utility says higher interest rates, increased costs of capital, and supply chain expenses made the project unattractive”.

The utility does not want to pay the increased price. Imagine that!

The wind bubble may be bursting. We need to keep the pressure on (to mix metaphors). That the industry is struggling is now clear to the financial community. When stock prices sink or product prices soar, that triggers various adverse actions.

Here’s hoping for a cascade of grief for offshore wind development. It serves no useful purpose, is environmentally destructive, and costs a growing fortune.

Stay tuned to CFACT as this hopeful drama unfolds.


David Wojick

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see Available for confidential research and consulting.

For more on issues with Intermittent Wind and Solar, check out that section of our ClimateTV page.

5 26 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Tom Halla
September 6, 2023 6:09 pm

I think someone hates seabirds, whales, and fishermen, and loves subsidies.

September 6, 2023 6:21 pm

Let’s be clear. Support has declined because the true costs have been revealed.

James Snook
Reply to  Giving_Cat
September 7, 2023 6:07 am
September 6, 2023 6:30 pm

must be something about the mixture of electricity, salt, water and metal. just spitballing.

September 6, 2023 6:35 pm

A sane President would not allow his name to be attached to Offshore wind

Europe has been pushing the fed US idiots to step up to the plate to ruin the US fossil fuel industry, which Europe has, but theirs is fueled with expensive imports.

Europe was rejoiced the passage of the idiotic INFLATION REDUCTION ACT, which increases inflation by more deficit spending added to the national debt, just $2 trillion in fiscal 2023, because Europe makes all the wind turbines, has the specialized ships, etc.

But, alas costs went waaaaay, waaaaay up, and now ratepayers and taxpayers are finally waking up to the reality of offshore wind costing 30 c/kWh, before subsidies, but only 15 c/kWh, after subsidies, which is about 3 times traditional fossil

But wind (and solar) need a lot of grid expansion/augmentation, so add 2 c/kWh, plus a fleet of counteracting/balancing plants, so add 2 c/kWh, plus costs for curtailments, so add 1 to 2 c/kWh

Reply to  wilpost
September 7, 2023 4:50 am

In the article, I want to clarify, the low $/MWh numbers are the contract prices NYSERTA’s, ignorant, deluded, lalaland bureaucrats thought the wind turbine owners could be asking for, and proudly broadcasted their numbers to the lapdog Media, so they could help drum up support, but when these owners saw those numbers, they basically said to the bureaucrats we need up to 66% more, in order for OUR spreadsheets to make sense

Reply to  wilpost
September 7, 2023 5:49 am


The US government has the insane fantasy of wanting to build 30,000 MW of offshore by 2030, i.e., just 7 years, but several companies, building projects for Massachusetts, will be allowed to walk away from the signed PPAs, and rebid at much higher prices next year.

The UK government has the insane fantasy of wanting to build 26,000 MW of offshore by 2030, i.e., in just 7 years, 

The continent-based European big wind companies have only one third of the capacity per year for building 56,000 MW offshore by 2030, or 8,000 MW/y. These companies will concentrate on the U.S. market, because the Biden “Inflation-Reduction-Act” subsidies are about much higher than in the UK

1) Vattenfall, Sweden, has put 1,400 MW on hold in 2023 (will re-evaluate its entire 4,200 MW zone), because Vattenfall spreadsheets show a “net revenue shortage” of about 40%, meaning the prices, c/kWh, offered by the UK auctions are about 40% too low.,revealed%20in%20its%20interim%20report.

BTW, about 7,000 MW of offshore wind bids were rewarded by the UK 4th Auction, in 2022

2) OERSTED, Denmark, is looking forward to a $2.6 billion loss on its three US East Cost offshore wind systems, mainly due to high inflation, high interest rates, supply chain disruptions, and not being awarded additional federal and state tax credits

3) Offshore wind projects have huge increases in turnkey capital costs. See item 4 and Note

Oersted, Denmark, Sunrise wind, original price $110.37/MWh, wants $139.99/ MWh, a 27% increase
Equinor, Norway, Empire 1 wind, original price $118.38/MWh, wants $159.64/MWh, a 35% increase
Equinor, Norway, Empire 2 wind, original price $107.50/MWh, wants $177.84/MWh, a 66% increase
Equinor, Norway, Beacon Wind, original price $118.00/MWh, wants $190.82/ MWh, a 62% increase

Reply to  wilpost
September 8, 2023 5:29 am

Oersted, etc., is urging Biden to ignore the domestic content requirements of the Inflation Reduction Act, so 100% of the wind turbines can be VERY EXPENSIVELY built in Europe, WITH US SUBSIDIES

This is totally screwed up, even worse than having open borders. Both rein the US as we know it


September 6, 2023 6:44 pm

Build new fossil fuel and nuclear generators, remove all wind and solar from the grid, withdraw all mandates, subsidies and tax preferences.

September 6, 2023 6:45 pm

It’s New Jersey (where I took my first job in the 70’s). It is, apparently, unchanged. Behind the times. Perhaps learning (the direction’s right) that government never manages things very well.

September 6, 2023 7:29 pm


CD in Wisconsin
September 6, 2023 7:32 pm

Meanwhile, and unsurprisingly, the [Let’s Go] Brandon administration just killed as set of leases issued for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska.

Senator Sullivan of Alaska:

“Not only is this an affront to the rule of law, it’s also a grave injustice to the Inupiat people of the North Slope, especially the people of Kaktovik — the only village in ANWR. As evidenced by this and so many of the administration’s actions negatively impacting the Alaska Native people, the idea of ‘equity’ is being exploited as a hollow political soundbite.”

Yet the administration continues to support offshore wind, even though costs are escalating and opposition is growing. I guess killing whales and avian wildlife are more acceptable when your environmentalist political base makes it necessary.

When will this insanity end?

Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 6, 2023 7:44 pm

“When will this insanity end?”

As usual, when the money subsidies run out.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  ToldYouSo
September 6, 2023 9:00 pm

Yes, probably.

general custer
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 6, 2023 8:04 pm

The Secretary of the Interior, native Deb Haaland, will have ‘splainin’ to do to the Inupiat on the North Slope but then maybe she’s just a figure head.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  general custer
September 6, 2023 8:43 pm

Isn’t it ironic that Haaland is a native American herself and yet turns her back on Native Alaskans who would benefit from those leases.

general custer
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 7, 2023 4:18 am

The contents of the lady’s gene pool shouldn’t have anything to do with her supposed role as the steward of the US land mass and its resources. Perhaps a return to the new stone age would be easier for her but probably not.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  general custer
September 7, 2023 4:56 am

Haaland seemed to take great pleasure in this announcement. She thinks she is going a *good* thing by stopping oil and gas production.

Just about everything the Biden administration does, harms the United States. This is another example.

September 6, 2023 8:08 pm

Elections have consequences.
If you know who had won in 2020, not the current occupant of the Oval Office, none of this wind stuff would be happening.
And, truth be known, off shore wind farms were never discussed during the election.
It’s almost like the politicians distract the voters with bogus issues.

Reply to  joel
September 7, 2023 2:51 am

DJT, did right to withdraw America from the Paris Accord. Had he remained in post, then perhaps the ruinables rhetoric, would have been in decline by now.

September 6, 2023 8:15 pm

The smart money will be pouring into farm dam storage-
Rural Australia is pockmarked with small dams. Researchers say they could also be ‘batteries’ (
I don’t make this stuff up. These people are experts with letters after their names.

Reply to  observa
September 7, 2023 3:46 am

I love the study on paired dams. The obvious next question is who gets to use the water for the livestock. If the dams aresometimes dry, because the water is in the other dam, what do the animals drink.

Also, if you had two dams, each say 10 megalitre in volume. Would you need to build another dam to cover for the fact that the two you already have will now be storing only half their old amount, allowing room to pump from one to the other?

And on the farms I have visited in Oz, including the one I’m living on, the dams are generally within a few metres of elevation of each other. Clearly they must be looking at some steep terrain if they think this is going to work.

I smell a rat. A rat with a dollar sign in front of, holding out a grant application.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  observa
September 11, 2023 3:36 am

Blakers has been peddling this stuff for over a decade. AFAIK only 2 sites have been developed. Both (like Dinorwig in Wales) relate to old mine workings.

It doesnot add up
September 6, 2023 8:44 pm

By the end of the week, having just passed a bill that aims to criminalise opposition to net zero and failure to destroy your home to meet net zero standards, the UK government will be forced to admit the outcome of the AR5 CFD auction that was supposed to secure large volumes of offshore wind at prices similar to the AR4 round (£37/MWh in 2012 money) and a ceiling price of £44/MWh in 2012 money, currently worth about £59/MWh. Several firms announced they were not going to bid.

The terms are significantly harsher than for AR4: there is no option to accept market prices once the wind farm is commissioned, unlike in earlier rounds; any hour with negative day ahead wholesale prices results in no CFD support at all, leaving the risk of curtailment with no compensation.

Watch this space for the wailing and gnashing of teeth.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  It doesnot add up
September 7, 2023 5:36 am

The news is leaking in advance. Quite a detailed article from Sky (albeit you will struggle to find it on their main news page).

Offshore wind power warning as government auction flops | Business News | Sky News

An attempt to bury bad news, methinks. Offhsore bidders are guessed at somewhere between zero and two, with a greater probability of zero.

September 6, 2023 9:35 pm

The Iron Lady could have told us all this would happen: The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

Dennis Gerald Sandberg
September 6, 2023 9:40 pm

Cost and public opinion are an interesting aside but unfortunately that’s not what drives wind and solar proliferation. Democrats want W&S for a variety of reasons, none of them good.

Reply to  Dennis Gerald Sandberg
September 6, 2023 10:32 pm
Phillip Bratby
September 6, 2023 10:41 pm

Energy from wind was a stupid idea which dies out centuries ago once reliable sources of power became available.

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
September 6, 2023 11:19 pm

The lefty brains trust have to cook up new ways to save us all from global boiling-
Fremantle Hwy: Mercedes EV battery burns ONE MONTH later | Auto Expert John Cadogan – YouTube
Leftys don’t do outcomes as it’s all about the revolutionary struggle in case you’re struggling with it all.

Iain Reid
September 6, 2023 11:23 pm

The builders and operators of these wind farms must know that their performance is poor (The U.K. is said to have good wind assets but when you look at the performance of our wind generators it’s output is pitifully low for so much of the time) and that they are not equal in technical terms to conventional generation and cannot run without support from conventional generators.
In other words they are selling a product they know that is unsuited of the job it is being used for, arguably fraud?
The public, in general, are not really aware of these facts so that is why I believe there is not more opposition to them.

Ben Vorlich
September 7, 2023 1:08 am

That’s why the UK Tory government has allowed onshore windfarm development to start again.

Various organisations claim the majority of Britons are supportive, not amongst my friends.

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 7, 2023 1:15 am

Not to mention those little (or not-so-little) brown envelopes for friends and family!

Reply to  Ben Vorlich
September 7, 2023 7:50 am

That ‘majority’ are the beneficiaries.

Rod Evans
September 7, 2023 5:22 am

Fortunately here in the UK, the Saudi Arabia of wind energy remember, we don’t have to object to wind energy. The wind energy industry is doing all the work of any organised objection group.
Today as I write, the UK wind energy contribution to grid is 1.4 GW. That is it, out of an installed capacity of over 28GWs.
What more needs to be said?

Reply to  Rod Evans
September 7, 2023 7:55 am

I believe an English politician recently said the UK would be a powerhouse of renewable energy, or some such. What farce.
Anyway, wind power in the UK has been bad for about two weeks or so. They can never be free of the need to have a fossil fuel infrastructure capable of supplying most of their energy on short notice for a period of several weeks. Otherwise, aside from energy poverty for the masses, they could never support an industrial economy. But, since they are destroying farmland with wind farms, and won’t drill for oil or gas, it is hard to see them becoming like Russia, which exports food and fossil fuel in very large amounts.
We have not seen such insanity on the part of national leaders since the days of Mao. The leftist mindset is really destructive.

UK Aug Sep 2023.png
Reply to  Rod Evans
September 7, 2023 10:42 am

In the U.S., that would mean fights over limited supplies of portable power generators at Home Depot etc.

Paul Hurley
September 7, 2023 6:18 am

This can’t be right. The “experts” all said the price of offshore wind-generated electricity would only go down. /sarc

Reply to  Paul Hurley
September 7, 2023 10:42 am

Those were lobbyists, not experts.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 7, 2023 1:09 pm

Speaking of lobbyists, Nick sure has been quiet lately.

Dave Andrews
September 7, 2023 8:48 am

Tomorrow we are due to get the results of the latest round of bidding to make the UK the “Saudi Arabia of wind” Looks like there are going to be very few bids because the wind industry says the government has ignored warnings about spiralling costs in the sector.

Meanwhile the IEA is calling for governments around the world to commit to tripling global unreliable capacity by 2030 at the upcoming COP 28

Reply to  Dave Andrews
September 8, 2023 3:55 am

As we now know, there were no bidders.

However, it will not come as a surprise, if the gov’t accedes to their demands, and agrees the new higher tariffs.

And of course the ‘greens’ will still insist that ruinables are cheaper than natural gas.

September 7, 2023 9:14 am

Be sure and make the NJ windmills manual crank versions to go with their requirement of full-service gas stations. And name one of the units the ‘I’m Spartacus’ for the idiot climate change Senator in that state.

It doesnot add up
September 7, 2023 9:37 am

Meanwhile in Germany…

They can’t get the turbines and blades delivered through lack of transport permits.

Reply to  It doesnot add up
September 7, 2023 10:35 am

China has no problem transporting solar panels to Europe by train made with forced labor components, along with EVs. Let’s face it, labor camp products have always been more popular in Germany.

September 7, 2023 10:31 am

It’s only money. NJ is rich and can afford multiple cost re-statements for the cause. Pile it on.

September 8, 2023 5:16 am

The fewer bird and whale killers the better.

Verified by MonsterInsights