Big potential for offshore wind

A new report from the US Interior Department concludes that offshore wind power could be more than sufficient for meeting the current level of American demand for electricity. They estimate that the Atlantic coast alone could provide 1,000 gigawatts of electricity: as much as 1,000 Westinghouse AP1000 nuclear reactors. The report also estimates that wind power in shallow waters (less than 30m deep) could provide 20% of the electricity required by coastal states.

While the report also stresses the oil and gas resources that could be taken advantage of in these continental waters, it is encouraging to see that it takes renewables seriously. The report’s executive summary is online.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

5 thoughts on “Big potential for offshore wind”

  1. I think the bailout could pay for most of this. Too bad were too busy propping up car manufacturers.

    The embarassing thing is the best thing to do with regards to the car industry is quite simple: nationalize all major car firms. Stop producing all needlessly powerful cars – to save retooling costs, just sell the same cars with smaller, gutless engines. Reduce the national speed limit to 50mph, and allow cops to give speeding tickets for un-economical driving. Ban all imports of cars under some mileage standard which the newly nationalized car firms can actually meet because of their radical policies.

    This is a form of protectionism based on environmental regulation which would provide lots of domestic work (now that imported cars can’t be sold, all of a sudden everyone is buying new american made cars again). And, it would reduce the US demand for oil – to some extent over night, and by a much greater extent over the 5-7 year cycle in which most cars are thrown out.

    But, of course, the state sees this not as an oppertunity to nationalize industry for the public good, but to bailout the capitalists to preserve the rate of profit.

  2. As with the previous 100% solar plan, it stands to reason that a hybrid approach would be cheaper, and would have fewer other negative effects.

    If we use, say, the best 33% of available wind, solar, and hydro sites, we can probably get the same amount of electricity more cheaply, while damaging fewer sensitive areas and being more resilient overall.

  3. US Department of Interior Moves to Speed Up Wind Energy

    By JoulesBurn on offshore wind

    The U.S. Interior Department has recently released a report entitled “Survey of Available Data on OCS Resources and Identification of Data Gaps”. The report, commissioned by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and completed by the Minerals Management Service (MMS) branch of the department, outlines the energy resources available in the outer continental shelf (OCS) of the United States. Although the MMS is more well known for its role in auctioning off and granting permits for offshore oil and gas leases, the report is striking in that wind and wave energy potential receives top billing. The report (14 MB pdf) along with videos, podcasts, and presentation slides can be downloaded from the department’s web site.

  4. A North American Wind Energy Scenario

    Would a “50% of electricity generated by wind scenario” work in North America by 2030? In this post, I make a rough cut estimate of what might be required to make such a transition in about 20 years time.

    Most proposals that are being made rely on a very big increase in carbon free energy, both to charge electric vehicles (EV’s) and to replace oil and natural gas (NG) presently used for hot water and space heating. In this post, I lay out a path by which 50% of North American energy might come from wind by 2030, including replacement of a large share of oil and natural gas use by electricity.

  5. Floating wind turbine launched
    By Jorn Madslien
    Business reporter, BBC News

    The world’s first floating wind turbine is to be towed out to sea this weekend.

    Statoil’s Alexandra Beck Gjorv told the BBC the technology, the Hywind, to be put off Norway’s coast – “should help move offshore wind farms out of sight”.

    And it could lead to offshore wind farms eventually being located many miles offshore, away from areas where they cause disruption, Ms Gjorv added.

    This would benefit military radar operations, the shipping industry, fisheries, bird life and tourism.

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