Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Rapidly falling offshore wind power prices in key European markets could also bode well for the emerging U.S. sector, according to findings from a peer-reviewed study in Nature Energy.

Why it matters: This is a turning point in the economics of offshore wind — a potentially massive source of carbon-free power.

  • Researchers analyzed years of developers' winning bids in offshore wind power auctions in five countries that represent three-fourths of global capacity. They found that the bid price for power from proposed wind farms in northern Europe fell by roughly 12% annually from 2015 to 2019.
  • "[O]ffshore wind power generation can be considered commercially competitive in mature markets."
  • "Offshore wind energy development has been driven by government support schemes; however, recent cost reductions raise the prospect of offshore wind power becoming cheaper than conventional power generation."

How it works:  The auction designs mean subsidies that helped establish the sector are due to pay for themselves or even provide a financial benefit to governments and consumers when it comes to the latest projects coming online in the next few years.

  • "The level of subsidy implied by the auction results depends on future power prices; however, projects in Germany and the Netherlands are already subsidy-free, and it appears likely that in 2019 the United Kingdom will have auctioned the world’s first negative-subsidy offshore wind farm," per the report.

Yes, but: The wider question of cost vs. return to governments depends in part on whether grid connection costs are borne by developers or socialized via national infrastructure investments. Most nations choose the latter, they point out.

  • However, upcoming projects in the U.K. are effectively zero-subsidy even if developers paid these costs, as co-author Iain Staffell of Imperial College London describes in a Twitter thread.

The big picture: The paper comes amid a growing pipeline of planned projects in the U.S., where there's currently just a tiny amount of offshore wind.

  • BloombergNEF projects that the U.S. will have 20 gigawatts of installed capacity by 2030, and the Nature Energy paper underscores how Europe's experience is aiding the sector here.
  • "Regions of Asia and North America also benefit from shallow waters, and could expect some of the learning of Europe (for example, turbine size increase, construction techniques and financing) to play a key role in achieving similar results," it states.

The intrigue: Growing price competitiveness is only one factor in achieving very large commercial-scale development in the U.S., which is decades behind Europe.

  • The Washington Examiner's coverage of a virtual Atlantic Council event Monday looked at some of them, including...
  • "Major upgrades to the electric transmission system will be needed to accommodate all of the offshore wind Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states are planning to bring online, and there’s not a planning process in place yet to support those upgrades, said Hannes Pfeifenberger, a principal at the Brattle Group."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 21, 2020 - Energy & Environment

A big renewables deal: Iberdrola's Avangrid to buy PNM Resources

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Avangrid, a subsidiary of Spanish energy giant Iberdrola, is buying the big New Mexico-based power company PNM Resources in a $4.3 billion deal.

Why it matters: The companies said the deal, valued at $8.3 billion including debt, will form the third-largest renewable power company in the United States.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Oct 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Poll shows strong backing for Biden's $2 trillion climate plan

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new poll of nearly 1,000 likely voters suggests Joe Biden would have political wind at his back on the proposal on climate change if he wins and Democrats take the Senate.

Why it matters: 66% of likely voters support a plan to spend $2 trillion on clean energy and climate efforts, per this New York Times/Siena College poll.

China's crypto throwdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

China's latest move to ban cryptocurrency shows how tough it will be for the technology to deliver on its backers' vision of disruptive, decentralized change.

The big picture: Control of the currency is a foundation of sovereignty, and governments don't plan on losing that control even as money inevitably turns digital.