Hours before President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, the Energy Department released reports yesterday on the state of U.S. wind power that raise questions that may linger despite the new law’s policy supports.
The three reports — focused on onshore, offshore and distributed wind power, respectively — outlined the wind industry’s struggles over the past year while concluding that it’s healthy. The reports did not consider the IRA’s possible effects on wind growth.
Thirteen gigawatts of wind came online last year, enough to power 4 million homes, DOE noted. That was the second largest amount ever, according to industry figures.
But DOE researchers outlined problems in their reports that have acted as a drag on the industry’s growth.
One problem is how long it can take to connect new projects to the grid, which can rack up development costs.
At the end of 2021, the reports say, a record amount of wind power, 247 GW, was waiting in transmission interconnection queues, including 73 GW that came onto the queue last year and 77 GW from offshore wind.