We need the expertise, experience, and financial backing of Big Oil to drive wind energy forward in the U.S., following years of strong investments from oil firms across the country kickstarting the industry. As activists and international agencies continue to criticize Big Oil for its role in climate change and environmental degradation, it is precisely those firms that have made some of the more significant investments and added some of the greatest value to renewable energy projects across North America.
Wind capacity is expected to increase by 60 percent over the next five years from 100,000 megawatts (MW) at present. And the global offshore wind market could reach a value of $87.5 billion by 2026 according to predictions, an increase from just $36.1 billion in 2019. However, it will require significant investment and know-how from seasoned energy experts to get wind projects off the ground and meet this demand.
In April this year, Chevron became the first U.S. oil major to invest in offshore wind, signing a deal with Norway’s Moreld to develop Ocergy, a turbine technology company. It follows in the footsteps of European majors Shell, Equinor, and Total, which all have well-established offshore wind energy projects.
The offshore development is part of Chevron’s $300 million low-carbon investment plan. The development will see the construction of floating offshore wind turbines which will be used to power part of the U.S. grid.
Similar projects have already been seen in other areas of the world as Shell, with partners SSE Renewables and Equinor, is currently developing the world’s largest wind farm in the northeast of England. Phases A and B of the Dogger Bank Wind Farm will have a combined power generation capacity of 2,400 MW.
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