Crisis in Wind Industry Due to Inflation, Regulatory, and Grid Connection Hurdles

(p. B5) The wind business, viewed by governments as key to meeting climate targets and boosting electricity supplies, is facing a dangerous market squall.

After months of warnings about rising prices and logistical hiccups, developers and would-be buyers of wind power are scrapping contracts, putting off projects and postponing investment decisions. The setbacks are piling up for both onshore and offshore projects, but the latter’s problems are more acute.

In recent weeks, at least 10 offshore projects totaling around $33 billion in planned spending have been delayed or otherwise hit the doldrums across the U.S. and Europe.

“At the moment, we are seeing the industry’s first crisis,” said Anders Opedal, chief executive of Equinor, in an interview.

. . .

The holdup of projects that could generate 11.7 gigawatts—enough to power roughly all Texas households and then some—likely pushes 2030 offshore wind targets out of reach for the Biden administration and European governments.

. . .

(p. B11) The list of woes is long: inflation, supply-chain backlogs, rising interest rates, long permit and grid connection timelines. The increasing pace of the energy transition has created a loop of escalating costs.

For the full story, see:

Mari Novik and Jennifer Hiller. “Wind Power Stumbles as Problems Mount.” The Wall Street Journal (Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023): B5 & B11.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story was updated Aug. 7, 2023, and has the title “Wind Industry in Crisis as Problems Mount. The online version says that the title of the print version is “Wind Power Stumbles as Cost, Logistical Problems Mount.” But my print version of the national edition had the shorter title “Wind Power Stumbles as Problems Mount.”)

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