• In 2020, cumulative installed wind capacity totaled 5,983 megawatts (MW) in California, almost unchanged from 2019 (5,959 MW).102 Meanwhile, the rest of the U.S. added 9,482 MW of wind capacity in 2020, reaching a total U.S. cumulative excluding California capacity of 101,088 MW. Total wind capacity has remained largely stagnant in California since 2012, but it continues to expand in the rest of U.S.

102 Utility-scale wind capacity includes installations of wind turbines larger than 100-kW for the purpose of the AWEA U.S. Wind Industry Quarterly Market Reports. Annual capacity additions and cumulative capacity may not always add up due to decommissioned, uprated and repowered wind turbines. Wind capacity data for each year is continuously updated as information changes.

  • Previous studies have indicated the potential of developing an offshore wind market in California.103,104 Such opportunity may finally be realized, as California announced an agreement with federal partners this year that opens up the West Coast for offshore wind development for the first time.105 On September 23, 2021, Governor Newsom signed AB 525 into law, which directs state agencies to develop an offshore wind plan for California. Earlier in the month, Governor Newson proposed a 2021-2022 budget that included 20 million dollars to “spur environmentally responsible development of offshore wind energy.”106 This may help close the gap between the United States and Europe in terms of offshore wind energy production.

103 Nikolewski, R. Offshore wind still looks to get a foothold in California. The San Diego Union-Tribune. December 5, 2019. Accessed May 11, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/story/2019-12-05/offshore-wind-still-looks-to-get-a-foothold-in-california

104 Using the RESOLVE model, a recent study by Energy and Environmental Economics, Inc. (2019) also found offshore wind to have the potential to be a valuable and significant resource for meeting the state’s long-term climate goals. The study can be retrieved from https://www.eenews.net/assets/2019/08/19/document_pm_01.pdf

105 Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. California Announces Historic Agreement with Federal Partners to Advance Offshore Wind Development. May 25, 2021. Retrieved from: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2021/05/25/california-announces-historic-agreement-with-federal-partners-to-advance-offshore-wind-development/

106 California’s Offshore Wind Bill Signed Into Law. Adrijana Buljan. Retrieved from: https://www.offshorewind.biz/2021/09/24/californias-offshore-wind-bill-signed-into-law/