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Published on September 24th, 2009 | by Susan Kraemer

6

No Off-Shore Wind NIMBYism, Gigantic Potential for Mid-Atlantic States

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September 24th, 2009 by
 

An amazingly high percentage of people who live down the Mid-Atlantic Seaboard from New York to Virginia want wind turbines off their coast.

Even if they can be seen from the shoreline, 67% support off-shore wind power, according to a new poll of coastal residents of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia .

If the turbines are out of sight, the level of support goes up to an astounding 82%.

A full 25% of the population of the US lives in the nine Atlantic states from Massachusetts to North Carolina. The potential is staggering.  So it is very fortunate that so many people in the middle of part of the region with such great potential for wind power feel this way.

Off-shore wind power off the Atlantic could take one third of the US population off the fossil grid.

The off-shore energy potential down all nine Atlantic states is a colossal 330 gigawatts. That is almost twice the total amount the nine states use: 185 gigawatts. The job would take over 160,000 5 MW turbines spaced about a mile apart down the coast. This would be an energy superhighway.

NIMBYism has been the impediment for development of off-shore wind power off the East Coast. This poll certainly had surprising findings, for the middle five of this nine-state wind powerhouse.

Most of the residents polled in the five middle states lived within a block or so of the ocean, three quarters of them are homeowners; about 15% with waterfront property. A third of the people are 60 or older. Fully 90% of these coastal dwellers really get out and enjoy beach activities, swimming, walking, crabbing and clamming and they put a higher priority on protecting the coastal environment (76%) than improving the economy (69%), lowering taxes (65%), improving education (64%), or controlling growth (56%)

In March 2009, the governors of the five states in the middle of this wind energy goldmine had initiated an effort to develop an interstate agreement on ocean and coastal management for the Mid-Atlantic region. While NOAA funded a grant for the Urban Coast Institute and Polling Institute at Monmouth University to do the poll, coincidentally, the governors of the five states would need to know if there was any agreement on coastal development.

The Department of the Interior is developing a Comprehensive Energy Plan on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. There is a surprising level of agreement among coastal residents in the five states about what the government should do on a range of issues of interest to coastal dwellers.

While the poll questions covered many coastal issues, what jumped out at me was that these residents really agree on wind power off the Atlantic Seaboard.

Image: jewelphotography

Source: Monmouth University

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • http://worldwide-sawdust.com Bob Higgins

    The potential for the Midlant states in wind is a significant chunk of the grid but imagine if the entire coastline of the US is taken into account and then add tidal power.

    Bob Higgins

  • http://worldwide-sawdust.com Bob Higgins

    The potential for the Midlant states in wind is a significant chunk of the grid but imagine if the entire coastline of the US is taken into account and then add tidal power.

    Bob Higgins

  • Susan Kraemer

    Thanks, Patrick; I have corrected it.

  • Patrick Murray

    Dear. Ms. Kramer,

    While we appreciate the coverage you gave to our independent poll and I have no major quibbles with the your characterization of the results. There is one very major factual error throughout your article. This poll was not commissioned by any governor of any state.

    The Urban Coast Institute and Polling Institute of Monmouth University undertook this research, with financial assistance from a NOAA grant, as an independent endeavor to inform the ongoing debate on ocean and coast policy issues. We did engage with the appropriate environmental officials in each of the five states during the planning process, but neither the governors nor their represenatives hired us or had any control over the content of the final survey and report.

    We did release the survey report coincidentally with the meeting of the five states, which was commented on by Governor Corzine of New Jersey. Perhaps that is what caused your confusion.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Murray

    Director

    Monmouth University Polling Institute

  • Patrick Murray

    Dear. Ms. Kramer,

    While we appreciate the coverage you gave to our independent poll and I have no major quibbles with the your characterization of the results. There is one very major factual error throughout your article. This poll was not commissioned by any governor of any state.

    The Urban Coast Institute and Polling Institute of Monmouth University undertook this research, with financial assistance from a NOAA grant, as an independent endeavor to inform the ongoing debate on ocean and coast policy issues. We did engage with the appropriate environmental officials in each of the five states during the planning process, but neither the governors nor their represenatives hired us or had any control over the content of the final survey and report.

    We did release the survey report coincidentally with the meeting of the five states, which was commented on by Governor Corzine of New Jersey. Perhaps that is what caused your confusion.

    Sincerely,

    Patrick Murray

    Director

    Monmouth University Polling Institute

  • Susan Kraemer

    Thanks, Patrick; I have corrected it.

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