There have been a few new developments concerning wind power over the past few days.
The first is that Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has approved the building of the first U.S. offshore wind farm. There is still some work to be done before building with actually commences, but BOEMRE approval was the last major stamp needed on the plan to build the farm in Nantucket Sound.
The farm will consist of 130 wind turbines and could create between 600 to 1000 green jobs. The proposal also mentions that the nationwide the wind energy sector has the possibility to create as many as 10,000 green jobs in the near future.
There have been some protests over the proposal, by those who wish to preserve the environment of Nantucket Sound. They say the Sound is a beautiful area that must be protected, but this is not stopping the building. This does raise the question as to whether or not installing offshore wind farms causes long term environmental damage. Sure, they take up the space and clutter the area, but if, in the distant future, they become obsolete could they not simply be removed and the area would be restored? Still environmentalists have good reason to complain because we will not outgrow wind power in our lifetimes. However, the farm, which will power 200,000 homes in average winds, is much needed.
The farms ability to power 200,000 homes is a major victory, but one still dwarfed by the largest wind farm in the world, which is nearing completion in northern Oregon. This farm will power 235,000 houses in normal wind. GE, who is building the $2 Billion farm, has recently found more investors in the form of Google (who also has solar investments in Germany), and the two Japanese companies Itochu and Sumitomo (both of which has wind farms in other areas of the U.S.). These investments will help GE finish the farm and help them make up some of the money that went into construction.
Investors are still being sought for the Nantucket Sound farm, but once it begins construction it should have no trouble finding them. What do you think of these advances in the wind sector and what do they signify for the green movement as a whole?
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