Wind power in the USA – Don’t hold your breath


“Obstacles to overcome”

There I was getting all excited when I came across the headline – “US Offshore Wind Project Updates” on Renewable Energy World.com – amidst all the doom and gloom coming out of Copenhagen, here I thought was going to be some cheery news.

As it turns out, nothing could have been further from the truth. I won’t repeat the entire article here – please visit Renewable Energy World to do that – No, I just wanted to highlight a couple of choice lines which, in my view, sum up just how far we’ve really got to go.

For instance, the workshop that was held in Boston to look at progress made and what was left to overcome before the first turbine hits the water – good grief, they haven’t actually installed any yet?

It got better (or worse if you like) – a development in Massachusetts’ Nantucket Sound, which has already spent 8 years overcoming local opposition is now stalled due to a claim that the development would obscure the view from an ancient Native American burial ground.

Meanwhile in Delaware, they’re only just set to deploy a series of meteorological towers to study and determine the best sites for turbines themselves. No turbines there either then.

And another more ambitious deep water project off the coast of Rhode Island – far enough out at sea to avoid the NIMBY brigade could still run into its own problems – not least how to actually install the turbines. There are currently no vessels in the US equipped to install these wind turbines.

Let’s not forget (as the article points out), there’s still the issue of installing a network to transmit power back from all these off-shore projects back to shore and people’s homes and businesses. With ‘transmission costs’ likely to be $6 billion, the question is who pays for that?

The piece is very informative and contains lots of detail so I suggest you get the full story by clicking here.

photo credit: Mostafa Saeednejad

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