America’s Green Energy Disaster is Becoming Much Worse

By: Georgia | Last updated: Jun 14, 2024

Renewable energy efforts in the northeastern U.S. are facing significant hurdles. Inflation and disruptions in the supply chain are forcing developers to delay or even scrap plans for offshore wind farms. 

These challenges are putting a major dent in the Biden administration’s vision to expand wind technologies.

Shell Reverts to Oil and Gas

Shell is pulling back from its offshore wind energy investments, redirecting focus towards its foundational oil and gas business. 

A bright and busy Shell gas station during the day, showcasing the company’s brand and service offerings

Source: Wikimedia Commons

A Shell spokesperson explained to Bloomberg, “We are concentrating on select markets and segments to deliver the most value for our investors and customers.” This strategic pivot includes substantial job reductions in their wind energy division.


Turbulent Times for Siemens Gamesa

Siemens Gamesa, a heavyweight in the wind turbine industry, is grappling with severe economic pressures. This strain has led to a significant decision to reduce its global workforce by 15%.

A woman walking past large Gamesa wind turbine parts lined up on a storage field, indicating the scale of wind energy components

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The company has encountered considerable financial turmoil, evidenced by a staggering €4.6 billion loss in 2023. With difficulties persisting into 2024, it’s clear Siemens Gamesa is navigating deep waters in an increasingly troubled wind sector.

Missed Targets in Global Wind Energy

The goals for the global floating offshore wind market are proving too ambitious, with recent surveys like Westwood’s predicting under 3 gigawatts of new capacity by 2030. 

A serene landscape featuring a line of wind turbines against a clear sky, demonstrating onshore wind energy generation

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This forecast falls far short of previous optimistic expectations.

Stumbling Blocks in Wind Expansion

Westwood’s analysis highlights significant barriers to growth in the offshore wind sector, including the absence of standardized floating technology, constrained manufacturing capabilities, and inadequate port infrastructure. 

Offshore wind turbines standing in the sea with a dramatic sunset in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Each factor is critically hindering the sector’s expansion.

Electric Grid Unable To Cope

With more households than ever before relying on electric energy and with an increasing number of household electrical appliances becoming a staple in every household, the electric grid is struggling to cope with the demand.

The electric grid, with wires attaching each grid to one another.

Jan Huber/Unsplash

As America is committed to focusing on renewable energy, experts have warned that if this focus stays and isn’t moved towards tried and trusted ways of producing energy for the time being, it could lead to catastrophic consequences.


Green Energy Is Failing America

Other ways to make America greener include using electric vehicles (EVs) instead of petrol and diesel.

Wind turbines spaced out along a hill.

Appolinary Kalashnikova/Unsplash

While this might be better for the environment, it isn’t better for the national grid. The increase in the number of EVs has caused more demand on the grid than ever before, and the grid has struggled to cope with public demand.


Industry Seeks Government Lifeline

The wind energy sector, struggling to gain momentum, is calling for more robust government support. 

A view of the White House's south facade, showing the iconic building and lawn

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Westwood emphasizes the need for “more specific policy and regulatory support for technology development” to help navigate these substantial barriers.


Governments Answer the Calls to the Wind Business

As the wind business is keen to make leaps and bounds in the energy industry, it asks governments for help with its plans.

An aerial view of some wind turbines and clouds above them.

Thomas Richter/Unsplash

Many governments worldwide, including the US, are more than happy to answer these calls to help the wind business in any way they can, especially if they want to be the country that leads the way with renewable energy.


Political Headwinds for President Biden

The challenges in offshore wind development could pose political risks for President Biden, particularly as his reelection approaches. 

President Joe Biden sitting at his desk in the Oval Office, engaging in a discussion, with the American flag and the Presidential seal in the background

Source: POTUS/X

His goal to install 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030 is looking increasingly ambitious and potentially out of reach.


Biden Is Overreaching With Wind Turbines

Biden’s goal of achieving 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 is overreaching, as experts have predicted much less than this to be viable by the same time.

A view of some wind turbines along a hill.

Karsten Würth/Unsplash

In fact, some believe that Biden’s predictions are 10 times the amount that is more likely to be achievable in the same timeframe.


Donald Trump Will Scrap Offshore Wind Projects

With the US Presidential Election coming up in November 2024, the race is on between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in a bid for either of them to get a second term in the White House.

Donald Trump doing a peace sign at a conference.

Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Should Trump get re-elected, he plans on completely scrapping current offshore wind projects on his first day in office, claiming the industry is harmful to wildlife.


Energy Usage Should Be Based on Facts

Experts say the type of energy used should be based on facts and not hopes or dreams. One survey found natural gas to be the most reliable form of energy, so some say efforts should be more focused on this than on other energy forms.

A lightbulb in the grass.

Ashes Sitoula/Unsplash

Even though most people want a greener world and the ability to rely on renewable energy, it’s not necessarily completely feasible right now for there to be such a huge focus on this, no matter what climate activists are saying.


Problems With Wind Energy

While they can be considered to produce greener energy, wider issues need to be addressed and considered to fully determine just how green something can be.

A row of wind turbines on top of a hill.

Nuno Marques/Unsplash

The production of wind turbines requires a large amount of land, which may have previously been used by wildlife, forcing them to find habitats elsewhere. Wind turbines are also relatively unreliable as they aren’t always windy. If an area goes long periods of time without any wind, where will it get its energy from?


Wind Farm Removed in Osage County

Efforts to remove wind farms have already been ongoing during Biden’s term as President. One wind farm in Osage County, Oklahoma, has recently received a court order to dismantle its wind turbines.

A field of wind turbines.

A 2017 ruling deemed that these wind turbines were on the same level as mining. Clearly, the Supreme Court agreed with this decision as it also voted in favor of its removal.


Wind Energy Banned Across the US

Osage County isn’t the only one to ban wind energy. Around 15% of counties across the US have banned wind energy for the time being, making Biden’s green energy goals increasingly difficult to achieve.

A field of wind turbines.

Zbynek Burival/Unsplash

180 counties have received commercial wind-power products in the last decade. However, more than double that number have banned these projects, which has resulted in counties that receive the most wind not being able to turn this wind into energy.


Opposition To Wind Energy Has Sharply Risen

Wind energy didn’t used to be so strongly opposed, as most of this opposition has only started within the last year.

Three wind turbines on top of a hill.

Alex Eckermann/Unsplash

This tends to depend on how much research someone has done on wind energy and its pros and cons.


Financial and Regulatory Challenges Derail Projects

Economic pressures have negatively affected several major offshore wind initiatives, with developers like Orsted and Shell withdrawing from significant projects. 

Aerial view of multiple offshore wind turbines installed in the ocean

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Other efforts are stalling due to financial and regulatory issues.


Is Wind and Solar Power the Cheapest Form of Electricity?

There are some questions about whether wind and solar power are the cheapest forms of electricity, after Biden’s claims when trying to persuade the rest of the US to get on board with green energy.

An aerial view of some solar panels.

Anders J/Unsplash

However, these come at a cost to the taxpayer of $1.8 trillion. However, this is a short-term cost when converting to green energy, and it should end up being cheaper in the long run.


Successes in a Sea of Challenges

Despite numerous setbacks, some projects are making headway. Vineyard Wind 1 and South Fork Wind are now operational, providing renewable energy to Massachusetts and New York, respectively. 

Close-up view of a single offshore wind turbine with a clear blue sky and distant land visible in the background

Source: Wikimedia Commons

These projects represent key successes amid broader industry struggles.


Biden’s Wind Energy Goal Far Off

The active projects currently contribute less than 1% of the Biden administration’s 30 GW target. 

President Biden speaking at a podium during a congressional session, with attendees and photographers capturing the moment

Source: POTUS/X

With the 2030 deadline looming, closing this gap presents a daunting challenge.


Doubts Cloud Financial Outlook for Offshore Wind

The economic foundation of large-scale offshore wind projects is facing growing skepticism. As these initiatives increasingly lean on government subsidies and grapple with climbing utility costs, concerns are mounting. 

A large installation vessel setting up wind turbines at sea, with a helicopter flying nearby

Source: Wikimedia Commons

This financial strain is testing the limits of both public support and governmental patience, raising questions about the long-term viability of this green energy strategy.


America Should Learn From Europe’s Mistakes

Europe has spent the last 30 years investing in renewable energy sources of all kinds, which includes wind turbines. However, ongoing war in Europe, particularly the Ukraine and Russia war, has put a stop to all of this.

Two wind turbines with hills in the background and the sun setting.

Jason Mavrommatis/Unsplash

Energy bills across Europe are now higher than ever, and many homes have struggled to afford heating throughout the winter. This has led to a return to coal, oil, and gas to heat their homes, something America should be wary of.


Rocky Road Ahead for U.S. Wind Energy

As we approach 2030, the journey for the U.S. offshore wind industry looks increasingly daunting. 

A worker in a red jacket performing maintenance on a wind turbine, standing on the nacelle high above the sea

Source: Wikimedia Commons

To meet the ambitious targets set for wind energy, the industry must navigate a maze of technical, financial, and regulatory hurdles.