October 13th, 2011 | 10:17 am

Two Must-read Stories on Offshore Wind

We saw two stories on offshore wind power that we’re “must-read” stories … First, this from the environmental blog CleanTechnica that notices a key new study on the potential for US offshore wind power.

Though well established and growing fast in Europe, offshore wind power has yet to get off the ground – or in the water – in the US. That’s despite the tremendous potential offshore wind holds in terms of supplying vast amounts of clean, renewable electricity to highly populated areas all along the US East, West, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes’ coasts.

Pike Research forecasts that investment in US offshore wind power will rise steeply over the next six years, with revenue reaching $104 billion by 2017. That’s a 56% constant annual growth rate (CAGR). They could reach as high as $130.5 billion under different assumptions incorporated in a “more aggressive scenario,” according to Pike Research’s “Offshore Wind Power” report.
Source: Clean Technica

The blog post continues, comparing the cost and benefit of offshore wind to other energy sources and concludes that “the US populace would continue to be ill-served if their government representatives do not establish fair, equitable support and incentives for developing a largely homegrown industry with such economic, social and environmental benefits and advantages.”

The full report from Pike Research is here.

Then there was also this from the Baltimore Sun, noting how Maryland is potentially a new venue for offshore wind, and is looking at exactly the type of energy questions for their power needs:

Advocates of developing offshore wind power have come to Baltimore this week with optimism that they’re creeping closer to putting the first turbines off the Atlantic coast, but worried that Washington could pull the plug on the fledgling industry just as it gets started.Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar are scheduled to open a three-day conference put on by the American Wind Energy Association.

The future of offshore wind in Maryland may ride on what happens in the next several months, as lawmakers and O’Malley aides chew over whether to ask ratepayers to subsidize offshore turbines off Ocean City or off neighboring states. Lawmakers balked at the idea last winter, tabling it for furrther study. Supporters released a pair of polls this week suggesting that large majorities of Marylanders favor offshore wind and would even be willing to pay more ($2 a month, even) to get it going.

You can read the entire story on this here.

  • http://www.HowleyGreenEnergy.com/ John Howley

    Offshore wind is a real game changer.  In the Philippines and elsewhere in the developing world, the absence of huge sunk costs in dirty fuels means that wind and other renewables are actually cost-effective today.  In Germany, when the wind is steady, electricity prices drop so low that it is no longer cost-effective to run a coal-fired plant.  If that happens often enough, then developers of new coal-fired plants won’t be able to assume the long run times that are necessary to justify the investments.

    John Howley 
    http://philamchamber.org/john-howley/