Thursday, December 02, 2010

N.C. prime for wind energy

A new report by the National Wildlife Federation states that North Carolina is a prime location for potential offshore wind farms. The report cites warm temperatures and large areas of shallow water that may mitigate the downside of slightly slower wind speeds. The report projects that the state could create between 10,000 and 20,000 new manufacturing jobs, says this article.

The report, Offshore Wind in the Atlantic: Growing Momentum for Jobs, Energy Independence, Clean Air and Wildlife Protection, makes the following key findings.

Every state with significant offshore wind resources from Maine to Georgia has some taken some steps forward on offshore wind. Northern states (Maine to Maryland) have the most advanced projects while Southern states (Virginia to Georgia) are quickly mobilizing on a series of projects. See detailed chart and state profiles.

The Atlantic’s shallow water characteristics combined with excellent wind speed make it an ideal location for offshore wind farms. 93 percent of offshore wind projects worldwide are in shallow waters (zero to 30 meters deep). Close to half of the United States’ shallow water offshore wind is along the Atlantic coast.

While the most extensive European study concluded that offshore wind farms do not appear to have long-term or large-scale ecological impacts, major data gaps for the Atlantic Ocean still exist and site-specific impacts need to be evaluated. A coordinated, comprehensive, and well-funded effort is needed to address these gaps and improve the permitting process. ...

Governor Bev Perdue reiterated her support of green energy initiatives, especially wind. “As governor, my duty is to make North Carolina better – to grow jobs, to position our state for a 21st century economy, and to improve the quality of our citizens’ lives. In my vision of North Carolina’s future, we have wind turbines off our coast, and we are the leaders of the nation’s new green energy economy. Now I am working to make that vision a reality.”

The report specifically calls on governmental leaders across the country to create the economic and political climate necessary to jumpstart the offshore wind industry in the Atlantic Ocean. The North Carolina Wildlife Federation and Environment North Carolina note that Governor Perdue has already positioned North Carolina to develop the industry. ...

No comments: