Thursday, 23 April 2009

Obama Talks About Wind Power On Earth Day

Offshore Wind Gets Major Boost

Just in time for Earth Day, the administration has issued a long-awaited set of rules that will significantly boost the development of offshore wind farms along the nation’s coastlines.

The regulations for the government to lease offshore acreage for wind and wave power (PDF) had been highly anticipated since Congress passed the 2005 energy bill. They will provide the main framework to develop offshore wind by giving the lead authority to the Minerals Management Service, the federal agency also in charge of offshore oil and gas development. The announcement was made by President Obama during a visit to a wind turbine tower manufacturing plant in Iowa, underscoring the administration’s commitment to developing clean energy sources. The visit also allowed the president to deliver a wide-ranging speech on energy and stump up support for a clean-energy and climate bill.
"It’s a win-win. It’s good for the environment, it’s great for the economy."
Jim Gordon, the president of Cape Wind, a company that has struggled for nearly a decade to build the nation’s first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound, said.
"This is going to open up the whole industry.”
Offshore wind has yet to take off in the United States, in part because it is more expensive than traditional wind power on land. Offshore wind power is more widely developed in Europe, including in places like Denmark, Holland and Britain. Taken together, wind and solar currently only account for 3 percent of power generation in the United States, but industry advocates point out that American offshore potential could be significant. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, for example, has estimated that offshore resources located between 5 and 50 nautical miles off the nation’s coasts could provide 900 gigawatts of generation capacity, which is roughly equal to the United States’ total current electrical capacity (PDF). The Department of Energy has laid out a more realistic scenario, in which wind power could account for 20 percent of the nation’s power generation by 2030. Offshore wind could reach 54 gigawatts of power, the energy department suggests, out of 300 gigawatts of total wind power expected in the United States by then. Several states, including New Jersey and Rhode Island, have already begun competitive bidding processes to develop wind power off their coasts.
"I think it is a Herculean step forward. What will happen now is that all the projects in design right now, off the shores of Delaware, of New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, will move forward because they will know the rules of the game."
Laurie Jodziewicz, who manages siting policy at the American Wind Energy Association, said that the new rules were necessary. But she also highlighted the need for a stable and consistent policy for wind, including the renewable energy production tax credit, and the adoption of a renewable energy standard which would mandate a share of alternative power for the nation’s grid.
"We’re quite excited to see this hurdle cleared. It’s been something we’ve been awaiting for quite some time now.

Related Posts from Green Inc.

No comments:

Post a Comment

LinkedIn Group
Xing Group
Ecademy Club
Google Coop
Search Engine