Jul 21 2014

Energy Prospects for the East Coast

Published by under Student blog entries

In 2010 ten states on the East Coast agreed to create renewable energy projects in the form of offshore wind farms. These states include Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Virginia and make up the The Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, according to Tina Casey of CleanTechnica. This is a promising beginning with Europe already far ahead of the U.S. Much of the infrastructure does not exist to support the wind energy market at this time and “[w]hile much of the U.S. wind turbine market is supplied from overseas, U.S. manufacturing has been rapidly catching up, partly with the aid of overseas turbine manufacturers that are creating thousands of new green jobs by locating their factories here in the U.S.,” says Casey.

Some of the lag in our efforts to create clean, renewable energy could be in part due to the massive oil industry. Casey reports that William Koch has been at the forefront of legal battles to allocate the offshore real estate for oil drilling, rather than wind farms. Fortunately, it would appear that he has been unsuccessful for the time being and in the case of Cape Wind, a major wind farm development in Massachusetts, he has incurred a major setback. Per Casey, Cape Wind released the following after winning this first bout:

Judge Walton rejected a long list of legal claims project opponents had raised, including arguments over navigational safety, alternative locations, alternative technologies, historic preservation, Native American artifacts, sea turtles, and the adequacy of the project’s environmental impact statement and biological opinions.
In two narrow instances, Judge Walton has asked Federal agencies to clarify its findings on whales and birds…Cape Wind expects these two compliance actions to be minor agency administrative actions that will not impact Cape Wind’s financing schedule.

Although Cape Wind should turn out to be a major wind farm with 15,360 acres allocated, it has been dwarfed by the newest plans out of NJ which has a rather ambitious goal to use 344,000 acres for its proposed wind farm. This could potentially create 3,400 MW of energy, according to Casey. It is extremely exciting to see these projects, but until construction actually begins I will be holding my breath. Hopefully, we can begin to remove our reliance on fossil fuels and I believe wind energy is one of many renewable energies we can use to replace it!


Offshore wind turbines courtesy of Siemens via Cape Wind.


Works Cited

Casey, Tina. “East Coast Governors Join Forces for Clean, Renewable Energy from Wind.” CleanTechnica. 13 June 2010. Web. 20 July 2014.

–. “Huge Win For Offshore Wind Farm In Massachusetts.” CleanTechnica. 15 Mar. 2014. Web. 20 July 2014.

–. “NJ Gets 3,400 MW Of New Offshore Wind Energy: What’s Missing From This Picture?” CleanTechnica. 20 July 2014. Web. 20 July 2014.

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