While there are nearly four gigawatts of installed offshore wind capacity in Europe and China, the U.S. has no operational projects in the water, and its nine advanced-stage plans, representing 3,380 megawatts of potential capacity, face challenges, according to a new study on the industry by Navigant Consulting that was conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

To further drive U.S. offshore wind past those challenges and into commercial operation by 2017, the DOE awarded $28 million per year in Advanced Technology Demonstration funding for the next six years to seven projects that proved themselves with backing from DOE in 2011.