On With the Wind

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted February 16, 2011

Wind power is one of the fastest growing sources of energy in the world.

In last month’s State of the Union address, President Obama emphasized employing clean-energy technology as part of an effort to create jobs and increase America’s competiveness in the global clean energy arena.

In the address, Obama set a goal of 80% of U.S. electricity to be from clean energy sources by 2035.

Currently, we are just close to gettting 2% of electricity from wind energy with not a single offshore wind turbine built here in the past decade.

Last Monday, the Administration went on to announce the first step to reaching this goal. Their plan is to spend $50 million on the research and development of offshore wind power.

Of the $50 million proposed, $25 million would be spent over the next 5 years for design and development of turbines and the systems that control them.

The announcement also named four states — Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Virginia — as the official “Wind Energy Areas,” a statement that seems to accelerate the government’s movement to renewable energy sources.

A clean energy proposal of this caliber would definitely create much needed U.S. jobs.

Not to mention it would help offset American reliance on oil and gas.

The goal is to reach 10 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2020 and 54 gigawatts by 2030 — that’s enough energy to power 2.8 million and 15.2 million American homes, respectively.

Who isn’t sick of hearing about the oil peak, the Middle East’s control of oil and the ever increasing costs of oil and gasoline?

Lessening our reliance on non-renewable resources, in at least one aspect of our society, will tighten our wallets and loosen our dependence on oil.

China and Europe are already experiencing the successes of wind energy. In Europe there are wind turbines off the coasts of nine countries including Denmark and Britain. China has a wind farm off the coast of Shanghai.

We have at least a half dozen wind projects in the works, but each project faces many hurdles. Initial costs for wind turbines are high, but the long-term benefits are far greater.

It’s time for America to whirl on into some energy and wallet saving projects.

Until next time,


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