When it comes to hosting wind energy conferences, the US once again stepped up to the plate.
Last week, thousands of exhibitors touted their wares and talked shop, as the delegates flocked to Orange County. Visitor numbers were almost certainly down from the 2010 industry high but did that stop the deals getting done?
Ultimately, the next few months will provide the clearest answer. However, if the packed hotel suites, hushed conversations and stacks of paperwork were anything to go by, this was an industry looking for contracts.
And there was no US-based business looking harder for the next big deal, than GE. A company that, having already started to lose ground within its domestic onshore operations, is now jostling for position as it fends off competition from its European counterparts, as the US market moves offshore.
For European investors, the conference was filled with opportunity. For too long the North American market has been dominated by domestic businesses that have made it nigh on impossible for companies based overseas to compete on equal terms.
However, this tide is changing. And it’s the incessant interest in offshore that’s become the catalyst.
As investors pour money into first phase projects, they continue to exercise considerable caution and will do whatever it takes to safeguard their investment.
For most, that means taking advantage of skilled and experience personnel who know what they are doing and understand the risks. For many European businesses, this is the big ticket into North America that they’ve been waiting for.
Four Republican congressmen have called for a halt to US offshore wind projects because of unsubstantiated claims blaming the industry for whale deaths. But this obvious misinformation can still be a threat for the growth of the industry.