While the offshore wind potential of the U.S. exceeds they country's demand, we have yet to do anything to capture this resource. We've done a great job of letting oil rigs set up shop off the coast of the U.S., but when it comes to clean energy, we're lagging far behind the rest of the world.
A quick look at the map above will show you why offshore wind development is so desirable. Higher winds that blow year-round with no significant dips in production. It's a powerful (yet expensive to tap) resource, and it's also right next to where the power is needed. America's interior "wind belt" would require a huge new distribution network to get the power where it's needed. Most big cities are on the coasts, right next to areas with huge offshore wind power potential.
So yes, I'm embarrassed that we have lagged so far behind in this area. But I am quite happy that now we can learn from the mistakes of other countries, and utilize the best new technology for the offshore wind farms that we will no doubt begin building soon.
The Department of the Interior, under Obama, has a whole new level of excitement about offshore wind. A new report has identified 1000 gigawatts of wind capacity off the East Coast and 900 off the West. Plus a bunch more from the great lakes.
A lot of this capacity, around 20% is at 98 feet or shallower, which significantly reduces the costs of the installations.
So get ready to see a lot of offshore wind development in the U.S. in the next ten years...whether you like it or not. I, for one, like it very much.
written by Paul, April 03, 2009
written by Sam, April 03, 2009
written by Kerinia Cusick, April 07, 2009
written by Tim, April 09, 2009
written by Fred, July 27, 2009
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