Google has given its strongest backing yet to wind energy by investing in a proposed $5-billion offshore wind underwater network project that could keep the lights on in homes and businesses from New Jersey to Virginia.
The project has been described by The New York Times as having the potential to “ultimately transform the region’s electrical map.” The newspaper also said the 563-kilometre underwater spine could remove some critical obstacles to offshore wind power development, and has excited investors, government officials and environmentalists.
In a posting to its blog by Rick Needham, Green Business Operations Director, Google said the project will accelerate offshore wind development in the United States while being both good for business and the environment.
By guest blogger Eleanor Smith, European Renewable Energy Council
Renewable energies have come a long way over the last decade, growing beyond expectations in some sectors. Now, renewable energies are considered mainstream, but 10 years ago no-one ever thought renewable energies were a serious threat to the conventional, fossil fuels sector.
Speaking at an event organised by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), former MEP Mechtild Rothe said that back then everyone was in favour of renewables, even the nuclear and coal sectors. Arthouros Zervos, President of EREC and EWEA, said that 10 years ago renewable energy leaders were so far away from developing into a concern to the fossil fuel sector that they were considered, “not crazy, but almost”.
Changes in attitude started to filter through as European legislation on increasing the use of renewables became a reality. This political leadership alongside the organisation of renewable energy sectors, the formation of EREC, economies of scale, subsidies from national and regional governments, gas supply interruptions, talk about finite fossil fuels, peak oil and climate change lead to the growth of the sector, Patrick Lambert from the European Commission said at the event celebrating EREC’s 10th anniversary in Brussels.
Offshore wind power along U.S. coastlines has a gross potential generating capacity four times greater than the nation’s present electric capacity, a new report by a national laboratory has found.
Saying that harnessing “this large and inexhaustible resource” can help mitigate climate change, increase energy security, and stimulate the U.S. economy, the report said that 54 GW of offshore wind power could be built by 2030.
Conducted by the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the study — called “Large-Scale Offshore Wind Power In The United States” — found that offshore wind could help the nation meet 20% of its electricity demand in two decades.
The winter is fast approaching and so is the end of EWEA’s 2010 campaign to get as many turbines adopted across Europe as possible. So far, over 3,000 of you have adopted a turbine and more than 4,000 of you have voted in our competition to win a trip to a wind farm.
Spain is the leading country with over 400 turbines adopted, just trailed by Italy with 375 adoptions. The UK has 348 turbines adopted, while France is just under with 341 adoptions.
With two top prizes available – a weekend break in Copenhagen including a visit to a wind farm and a two-day break in the Swiss Jura Mountains including a trip to a wind farm and a snow-shoe tour if it snows – it is not surprising that the voting contest has taken off with a bang. Some turbine adopters have managed to gather over 400 votes putting them in good stead for the prizes.
If you still haven’t adopted your very own turbine, there’s plenty of time to do so – by the end of December 2010. Give yourself the chance to win one of the two trips abroad by encouraging all your friends and family to vote for your turbine. Visit our campaign website and adopt now!
Although the British government is about to begin an aggressive series of budget cuts in order to help the moribund national economy recover from the ongoing financial crisis, its seems foolish to remove port infrastructure funding destined to spur even greater growth in the lucrative offshore wind industry.
According to a report in today’s Guardian, as many as 60,000 green jobs could be in jeopardy if plans to build three factories to make offshore wind turbines are sacrificed by the government’s spending review.
Noting the previous government had pledged €68m to upgrade ports so they could handle the next generation of offshore wind turbines, the story said Siemens and General Electric have announced plans to invest €205m in two new UK manufacturing plants.