Offshore wind has a lot going for it. From steadier, stronger wind speeds to the fact that NIMBYism is much less of a challenge, there are reasons why offshore wind has grown rapidly in recent years. That said, there are challenges too. Most notably, it costs a lot more than other forms of power generation. Or at least, it did.
Business Green reports that DONG Energy is set to smash offshore wind cost-reduction goals with two wind farms that it's building off the Dutch coast. While an industry-wide goal is aiming to deliver a leveled cost of power at below €100/MWh by 2020, DONG just announced that the average bid strike price for the two Dutch wind farms currently stands at €72.70/MWh, excluding transmission costs.
The two farms—with 350MW of capacity each—are due to begin generating electricity in the next four to five years. While most estimates have suggested offshore wind could be cost competitive with other forms of power generation somewhere around 2025, record setting projects like this suggest we may even get there ahead of schedule.
It's worth noting, of course, that every project is different. Alongside supply chain efficiencies, technical improvements and other wizardry that led to this low price, Business Green also reports that the Dutch wind farm sites offered very favorable seabed conditions—which presumably reduced costs considerably too.
Still, there are other locations that have good seabed conditions. Most notably the East coast of the United States. What are we waiting for?