Pursuant to the U.S. President's stated goal of generating 80% of all electricity from renewable sources, the Obama administration announced this week a game plan for wind energy development off the Eastern seaboard. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar paired up Monday to announce federal funding for offshore wind farms to the tune of $50.5 million over the next five years.
That fair chunk of change will go toward research that will help us better understand the potential of offshore wind projects. Once we get past the technical challenges, difficulties setting up transmissions, and shortages of site data, offshore wind has the potential to power the country four times over. That would be well worth all of the trouble.
Currently, there are no offshore wind farms operating in American waters. Opponents believe that the farms will detract from the fishing industries and detract from coastal views. Others think that its not worth the money since we are facing a large deficit and creating jobs seems to be the number one focus.
For our part, we see that offshore wind farms will not only create jobs via construction and maintenance, but will also reduce our dependency on foreign oil and reduce global warming causing emissions. And that's something to get behind.
(via LA Times)
Photo: Wind turbines at Thanet Offshore Wind Farm off the Kent coast in southern England September 23, 2010. Thanet farm is the world's largest operational offshore wind farm. (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)