America’s First Offshore Wind Farms: Block Island and The Cape Wind Project

Photo from cnyenergychallenge.org

Photo from cnyenergychallenge.org

As the years progress, energy saving, and alternative ways to obtain energy, are crucial for the survival of humanity and our beautiful home called Mother Earth. With hybrid cars, solar panels, and weighing heavily on recycling, we are slowly making progress to restoring our planet and advancing in new technologies.

On July 26th, America “broke ground” (or “broke water”?) by installing the foundation for its first offshore wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island, near Block Island. The Cape Wind project is attempting to build a similar wind farm off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

These wind farms will be located in federal waters. The wind farm by Block Island is projected to cut the cost of energy for the island by 40%, according to The Economist. Cape Wind, off the coast of Cape Cod, projects that their wind farm will “cleanly produce 75% of the electricity used on Cape Code and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket with zero pollution emission.” The wind farms will reduce fuel consumption and emissions of fossil fuels.

According to the Cape Wind Project, wind farms have been in affect in Europe since 1991. There are currently 66 wind farms in Europe, the largest one being The London Array. 30% of Denmark’s electricity is supplied by wind power, and over 58,000 people are currently employed in the wind industry.

Photo from extremetech.com

Photo from extremetech.com

These numbers are promising, and encouraging for the American people to see the results of these two specific offshore wind farms that are currently under construction. It is important to note, however, that there are actually 100 wind projects under construction throughout the United States in 24 states. According to The Economist, most are taking place in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and North Dakota. Already, wind generated 4.4% of the country’s energy last year alone. It is projected that wind power could supply 20% of the entire country’s electricity by 2030.

States are implementing mandates that range between 10-25% of electricity must come from renewable sources: “California’s mandates are among the highest: 33% by 2020…State lawmakers are probably going to raise California’s mandate to 50% by the end of the year.” Some states, however, are trying to diminish the mandates or freeze them altogether.

Wind is expensive, but the United States government has implemented a federal production tax credit, which is “the main incentive.” Wind and other renewable energy have been strongly supported by the Obama administration. Funding began in 2009 with $800 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, as well as green energy alone receiving “as much as $90 billion.” Regardless of some diminishing state mandates, the wind farms are a roaring industry, and when backed by the federal government, almost unstoppable.

So where will the United States be in the next fifteen to twenty-five years? Hopefully in a cleaner, more efficient state, as well as possessing economy growth due to jobs in this new field of energy. Although wind is expensive, the eventual break-even will cut costs of electricity across the nation, as well as environmentally refurbishing our land, as well as land across the globe. With investments in wind farms and renewable energy, such as the Cape Wind Project and the first offshore wind farm near Block Island, we are making important strides in preserving the future.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: AMY VAUGHN9d54e19e059511e2a62d1231380fd04a_7

As a Montclair State University graduate with a BA in English, my first love is writing, specifically nonfiction and short stories. International human rights and women’s rights are also strong passions of mine. I hope to someday be able to call myself Chief Editor, human rights advocate, and jewelry designer. I can’t live without Mad Men (er, Netflix), soy chai lattes, or my adorable Wheaten terrier, Pippin. 

Twitter | Linkedin

Originally posted 2015-08-26 08:00:54. Republished by Blog Post Promoter