The answer: not much in the US.
Cape Wind, blocked over the years by Kochs, Kennedys and Mitt Romney, is still not under construction, although they have chosen a construction contractor, and the construction barge that they will be using will be ready “next year.” Next year? And this is the offshore wind farm that is the farthest along in the US? Sad.
The Fisherman’s Energy project off the coast of Atlantic City, NJ is also moving along, but is nowhere near the construction stage.
The problem for offshore wind is the same as for any other kind of new generation right now: stagnant demand. There just isn’t that much need for new generation capacity in the US right now. As long as states remain committed to replacing obsolete coal plants with natural gas fired plants, and natural gas prices remain low, offshore wind plans will stay just plans. The commitment on the part of politicians and regulators just isn’t there.
The 25 MW Fishermen’s Energy wind farm three miles off the coast of Atlantic City could become the first offshore wind project in the United States. That is, if developers can get past their legal woes with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities — which has rejected the project twice based on potential costs to customers.
As of January 2014, there was 6.6 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity installed throughout the world. China alone has a goal of having 5 gigawatts installed by the end of 2015. By the end of 2015, the US will still have 0 watts installed.