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Scaling the US OSW Supply Chain with a Global Perspective

This summer a group of graduate students from the Columbia University Climate School, alongside climate and labor outreach experts at Cornell University, examined the global context of the offshore wind industry to brainstorm recommendations that could put the United States on a path to be a leader in the global offshore wind economy. 

The group, composed of six graduate students from the Columbia Climate School, collaborated with Avalon Hoek Spaans an alumnus and board member of the Columbia Climate and Society Masters program and now outreach extension faculty at Cornell ILR’s Labor Leading on Climate program as well as their student research fellow Scott Siegel ‘24, a student at Cornell University’s ILR School, who specializes in studying the OSW supply chain. The group looked at the US wind energy potential and existing US OSW supply chain in relation to port infrastructure, local initiatives and projects, and vessel capacity, and compared it to the existing supply chain in the UK. This work is built on top of existing research being conducted by the Cornell Labor Leading on Climate team and Climate Jobs National Resource Center on state-based Offshore Wind profiles as well as previous research advised by the Labor Leading on Climate team members Anita Raman and Zach Cunningham on an OSW Supply Chain Capstone project completed by an MPA Fellow at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy.

With the global offshore wind industry rapidly expanding, and continuing pressure on international trade it is evident that now more than ever the United States must focus on localizing the supply chain of renewable energy industries like Offshore Wind to meet decarbonization goals and to ensure energy security for all Americans.

Following a comprehensive analysis of the US offshore wind potential and existing infrastructure, international trajectories, and a detailed profile of the UK offshore wind industry, the student report highlights the best practices to jump-start a clean energy transition premised on a just transition, racial and gender equity, and safe workplaces. 

Working with Cornell ILR’s Labor Leading on Climate program, graduate researchers from the Columbia Climate School completed this report as a capstone project for their twelve-month graduate program.

“All In For Wind” builds on multiple reports released by Labor Leading on Climate, “From Rhode Island to Texas, and several states in between, the Labor Leading on Climate program and Climate Jobs National Resource Center have taken leadership roles in shaping America’s offshore wind policy through various reports and publications. This report furthers previous findings, examining the entire US industry to promote strengths and remedy weaknesses,” says Scott Siegel, a research assistant on the report. “Only through a just transition to clean energy, such as offshore wind, can we ensure job creation that puts people and the planet first.”

View a web version of the report’s findings online here.