Spending on the operations and maintenance (O&M) of wind farms in the US is seen to jump about 50% above the 2018 level to more than USD 7.5 billion (EUR 6.7bn) by 2030, shows a new report by IHS Markit (NYSE:INFO).
This surge will follow the push to implement new wind projects before the US federal tax credit expires, IHS Markit says, noting that 2018 capital spending reached USD 12 billion. The analytics provider forecasts that annual capital spending will average USD 14 billion in the period 2019-2021. While this will be followed by a slow-down in capital spending on new projects, the current boom will drive growth in O&M spending during the next decade.
In the early 2020s, the wind industry, IHS Markit says, will experience a transition in employment opportunities from construction to O&M jobs. More specifically, the firm estimates that the number of O&M jobs in North America will rise to almost 9,000 by 2030 from some 6,000 today.
On a regional level, Texas was the top state in 2018 when it comes to O&M spending, amounting to USD 1.3 billion, and employment. Runner-up was California with over USD 400 million in O&M spending.
IHS Markit, however, expects the Great Plains and upper Midwestern states, such as Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado and Minnesota, to demonstrate notable growth in those fields in the future. These six states will boost their annual O&M spending by USD 1.3 billion over the next decade, it notes.