Yesterday President Obama launched a new initiative for the United States to lead the world in mitigating climate change and to create new jobs and obtain a cleaner environment that will accompany the shift to cleaner energy sources. Offshore wind is a substantial resource the United States can tap as part of this clean energy transition.
Cape Wind will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 770,000 tons each year which the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs found comparable to taking 175,000 cars off the road each year. The Natural Resources Defense Council wrote "The Cape Wind project is, to our knowledge, the largest single source of supply-side reductions in CO2 currently proposed in the U.S."
Cape Wind is just the beginning. Researchers at the University of Delaware and Stanford University published a study in 'Geophysical Letters' that found enough offshore wind power potential from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to North Carolina to more than meet the entire electric needs of those states while reducing CO2 emissions by 68%. They also found the offshore wind resource of that area to be five times larger than that area's offshore oil and gas reserves. Better yet, offshore wind will never run out.
Europe has built 55 offshore wind farms and created 35,000 jobs in the offshore wind industry -- their goal is to have 170,000 offshore wind jobs by 2020. The United States has the largest offshore wind resources in the world. Tapping that vast resource will create a new domestic offshore wind industry that will help the U.S. take action on climate change, create new jobs, and have a cleaner environment.
It all begins by building America's first offshore wind farm: Cape Wind.