A Stanford study titled “US East Coast Offshore Wind Energy Resources and their Relationship to Peak-time Electricity Demand” has concluded, theoretically, that the East Coast could be powered entirely by wind turbines. (However, the study does not recommend such a singular approach to powering the East Coast.)
The study pegged the total number of turbines needed to power the East Coast, or about one third of America’s electricity, at 144,000. In order to generate such vast amounts of electricity, each turbine would need to be 5 MW.
Critics of offshore wind power say the turbines are unsightly and spoil the beloved coastal views that many local residents and tourists prize. The study says the best locations for offshore wind turbines are not within eyesight of shorelines, however. One advantage of using offshore turbines is that winds where they would be located often peak during the day, when electricity usage is also highest.
Regional energy generation which takes advantage of local natural resources like abundant wind and sunshine is very sensible, yet apparently there are significant political barriers. It will be fascinating to see if one region could become energy independent, and if that real-world example would cut through the resistance and red tape to the point where it would usher in the clean energy age many advocates of alternatives to fossil fuels have been taking about for decades.
The examples may have to come from abroad, though. Hopefully, wind power development in the UK and Germany (already in place, and growing) will eventually get more eyes opened in America to their own clean energy potential. Hopefully, more voters will then begin to follow through and insist upon renewable energy sources, rather than believing in the short-lived and cynical fossil-fuel course upheld up by Big Oil and Coal propaganda.
Image Credit: SeduisantRedux, Wiki Commons