A new report shows that Atlantic states could power the entire region with clean renewable wind energy off our coasts. North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland rank eighth, 15th and 17th respectively, among 29 coastal states for their potential to meet 2019 electricity usage with offshore wind according to the new report. These three states could provide 283 percent of their 2019 electricity usage and 137 percent of their 2050 projections with offshore wind alone. For projections of 2050 electricity demand, the report assumes that U.S. buildings, industry and transportation will all be powered by electricity rather than fossil fuels.

The new report was co-released Thursday, March 18, by partner organizations Environment Maryland, Environment North Carolina, and Environment Virginia Research & Policy Centers and the Frontier Group. The report, Offshore Wind for America, examines U.S. offshore wind potential by coastal region and by state, while documenting the status of existing projects and technological advances.

In October of 2019, the governors of Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia announced a three-state collaboration to advance offshore wind projects in the region and promote the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic United States as a hub for offshore wind energy and industry. The creation of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Regional Transformative Partnership for Offshore Wind Energy Resources (SMART-POWER) provides a framework for the three states to cooperatively promote, develop, and expand offshore wind energy and the accompanying industry supply chain and workforce.

In early March, the North Carolina Department of Commerce released a comprehensive report, Building North Carolina’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain, that showed “North Carolina stands well positioned to attract a significant portion of a more than $100 billion market opportunity from the growing offshore wind energy industry.”

We know that harnessing the massive potential of wind off our coast is a huge component of transitioning our state to 100% clean energy. North Carolina has some of the greatest potential for offshore wind in the country. Offshore wind is a proven, clean, affordable and reliable energy source. We can’t afford not to take advantage of that potential.

“Development of our offshore wind industry is critical to achieving a clean energy grid and will create tens of thousands of well-paying U.S. jobs in the process,” said Sam Salustro, director of Coalitions and Strategic Partnerships at the Business Network for Offshore Wind. “To fully harness the economic and environmental benefits offshore wind offers, the U.S. must work to develop the local supply chain and support continued collaboration between states and regions.”

In addition to highlighting states that stand to provide the most offshore wind power relative to their electricity usage, the report also highlights how the success and growth of offshore wind globally in Europe and Asia has supported the continued advancements of offshore wind technologies. Turbine power and efficiency continue to improve, while the introduction of floating turbines will be crucial for expanding offshore wind potential in states with especially deep coastal water, such as Maine and California.

Offshore Wind for America reminds us that offshore wind can and will rise to the occasion of meeting our energy needs right here in North Carolina. This incredible resource is still largely untapped, but we have the chance to take advantage of it and build a resilient green future for North Carolina. Now is the time to go big on offshore wind.

Drew Ball is state director with Environment North Carolina Research & Policy Center, an agency dedicated to protecting our air, water and open spaces.

(35) comments

mpjeep

There is the tendency for folks (smart-power) to seek out only information that confirms their existing beliefs.

More than half of the windmill companies funded by Obama's administration/taxpayers have gone belly up.

I smell state and federal subsidies, at taxpayer expense, coming fast down the tracks again.

David Collins

Could work , is that like could be pregnant ? Wind power does generate electricity . I know that , just not reliable enough for everyday use . Won’t go into the other negatives as any power generation has them . Just have to pick your poison . The hype far exceeds reality as do so many things these days .

By the way , contrary to the adds for Power House Home Solar , you better do your homework on this one . You think Solyndra was a scam , just my opinion based on some basic research . The devil is in the details and there is a 3 acre field of details to consider . You check , you decide .

mpjeep

I believe Sam Salustro was a research associate and communications person for the DNC, Obama for America Group, and The Democratic Governors Association. Enough said.

drewski

The fossil fuel industry spends a lot of money to convince folks that alternates are evil, unworkable. let us not forget that windmills cause cancer ( rolls eyes) They spread money on politicians like, like, like... well oil on water.

Constructing and servicing windmills will create decent paying jobs and an offshore industry boats, service vessels. cable layers. there are down sides to most things, the upside is clean electricity. There will always be nay -sayers, and there will always be innovators. Do your research by a whale oil lamp, then Pick a side.

mpjeep

Funny, a couple of months ago you didn't care about decent-paying jobs, like the pipeline.

Carol Hartsoe

Well said, drewski. I think we should explore and utilize wind energy and get it up and running before it actually becomes a necessity. Some of the other comments lead me to believe a dislike of certain politicians and the Democratic party will stand in the way of progress in green energy. People should take politics out of it and be open to ways we can make the environment better for future generations.

noitall

IRON words, Carol. NC coast and Morehead City plus the Global Park airport, plus the highways without overpasses that can move the massive size of the product plus the railroad already in place. This is a great manufacturing opportunity High pay, Clean industry with tremendous growth. with high pay and clean. Denmark and the UK are making this business model work

JusticeForAll

We will be forced into using alternative resources for power sources because of the overwhelming selfishness of the human species. Lessening our dependency on fossil fuels is common sense.

mpjeep

The three of you talk like The Squad in Congress, plus throw in Bernie. Never worrying or caring about how things get paid for. Just Do It!

I just don't have much patience for people who don’t know what they don’t know. But who am I but a white heterosexual Christian male who many would say is a racist.

I'm no farmer, but I can smell manure a mile away.

drewski

Speaking of manure, backyard biocomposters seem to be making a comeback. Alternative energy sources are of course the topic, Some people seem obsessed with the status quo, we have used oil gas and coal since crude oil replaced whale oil so why change? Why indeed? multiple sources of generation is just common sense. Is any idea that originates from the left so threatening that it cannot even be considered? it would seem by some folks comments the answer is no. how myopic is that, he asked rhetorically.

noitall

A small tax confiscation may be necessary - not much - just enough to get started. But if you resist more confiscation? Well we have ways.

David Collins

Yup , I’ll change my thinking right after these wind proponents install windmills at their residences and cut the cord to the power pole . What are y’all waiting for ? Be leaders not bloviators . Lead by example or crawl off and whimper .

JusticeForAll

I have plenty of patience, tolerance and hope. .

(Edited by staff.)

drewski

Windmills are not new technology, generating electricity directly is a relatively new development. That the idea of alternative energy production causes such anguish and diatribes is quite interesting.

All part and parcel of the business first mindset I suppose. Deregulation of biz is good, environmental protection is bad, anyone who disagrees is a socialist.

Let's ignore the repeated economic crashes caused by gop deregulation. If banks and ins co, and fossil fuel companies can't make obscene profits each qtr, and not be taxed since they need that money for expansion. Well, we have slipped into communism.

noitall

Careful what you wish for. Wind energy is not for everyone. Germany tried it but not enough wind. Denmark has plenty of wind and is the leader in manufacturing technology UK is also working the same business model. Think about the manufacturing side of wind energy. Personally I have used a small wind generator on my boat that works, with battery back,up very very well.

mpjeep

Turbine blades can’t be recycled and are currently piling up in landfills at the rate of 8,000 per year, creating an even more environmental challenge because they never degrade. Plus they kill birds. [scared]

drewski

When I research something I read several different articles, blades are quite large and the easiest solution is to use a landfill, other options exist and options increase almost daily. Englund believes he's found a way to recycle blades by grinding them up to make chocolate chip-sized pellets. They can be used for decking materials, pallets and piping. His startup opened its first processing facility in central Texas this year, and it's leasing a second space near Des Moines, Iowa.

David Collins

Sailboat wind generators , all of about 40 watts , RMS . That will cook a roast in about 10years . No thanks . When they get up to 100 amps @ 240 volts of clean filtered electricity , no spikes , I’ll take another look . Not into camping out these days and the birds will just have to take care of themselves .

noitall

And charge batteries night and day. FREE

David Collins

All this chatter about wind power is wasted . Was reported that our great leader  suggested that HYDROGEN extracted from water will do the trick . That should bring on explosive results . Shouldn’t it ?

(Edited by staff.)

David Collins

The early wind turbine blades were made of a balsa core then followed by a resin skin . Light , flexible and durable . Great news for the manufacturers , not so great for the rainforests where old growth balsa comes from . The supply of large trees was quickly harvested , by hook or by crook as so often happens , leaving a wasteland behind . This was followed by burning the remaining undergrowth to create more farmland . Bye , bye rainforest , hello produce to be shipped far and wide . Unintended consequences and another bump up in global emissions .

Looking at the big picture , wind power is far from truly green when all the bits and pieces are considered . Oh , the new blades are foam filled composite construction . Even greener . Ha , ha , ha .

What power source is used to grind and chip these discarded blades ? Dust capture ? More resin for the new product and last I knew resin comes from a fossil fuel . Does it not.

drewski

Always nay sayers, hydrogen is the ideal fuel, crack water get hydrogen burn hydrogen get water. It's the energy need to split the water that is current problem.

Meanwhile clear cut rain forests for each windmill? I think not. Oil to make blades? No again.

Polyester resins are made out of alcohol and acids.

David Collins

Oh now we are a rainforest expert . You will have to argue with The Economist about that . So much balsa wood was harvested that a tidy amount went to rot because of over harvesting .

Polyester resin proved too weak for the blades and epoxy was substituted . You can dodge and duck but you can’t hide . Manufactures of such things have scant concern for greenness , just profits . Such is life in the real world .

David Collins

If hydrogen is so ideal , why are we not knee deep in it ? Oh , it is energy intensive . Of course it is and where is this extra electricity supposed to come from ? It ain’t windmills or solar . Add in extra energy for all electric cars trucks and airplanes we are in a bit of a fix . Are we not ? Perhaps lightning capture should be explored or an extension cord to the sun . Just construct giant Ray-O-Vac batteries , a kite and a key and let er rip . Better check with AOC on all this first . She can be your guiding light . Basic Physics , no such thing as a free lunch .

mpjeep

Yep, 20 years ago many so-called “experts” were convinced that by 2020 we would drive hydrogen-fuelled cars.

Some cars have been made and powered by hydrogen in the last 5 years, but we haven’t heard much about any success. because of inefficiency and cost.

Hydrogen can be made from water using electrolysis, but that requires “electrical energy” (fossil fuels). Hmm.

And Hydrogen is only as green as the energy used to produce it.

mpjeep

Actually, Nuclear power has been producing low-carbon electricity for 70 years and is currently the largest single source of clean power.

Of course like other alternative sources nuclear comes with high costs, something the naysayer liberal socialist ignores. Maybe just a little safety issue as well, but we may be able to get to net-zero emissions.

Unlike solar and wind, with nuclear, we can have clean air and still keep the lights on. Of course, AOC wants to do away completely with nuclear energy. But most engineers will tell you that to get to lower emissions you can’t do it without nuclear power.

Face it, every renewable has a carbon footprint.

drewski

As I have said so many times merely saying something does not make it true, bogues quotes and generic statements. " most engineers say.."

hydrogen actually is our most common fuel, hydrogen bound with carbon hydrocarbons.. it takes very little energy to break those bonds, compared to hydrogen and oxygen.

Meanwhile Japan is going to release hundreds of tons of glow in the dark water into the pacific, and the prototype for that reactor is currently being shut down permanently in oak Island nc for repeated leaks,safety violations and the plain fact it's a dangerous mess. Perhaps while pondering the eons long disaster of chernoble you could tell us more about that clean safe nuclear power.?

(Edited by staff.)

mpjeep

Ah, hydrogen is an energy carrier and can not stand on its own.

Hydrogen is the most abundant, but certainly not “our most common fuel” by itself.

It takes more energy to produce hydrogen than hydrogen provides when it is converted to useful energy.

I understand it’s great for rocket ships, but we are not the Jetsons yet. Hydrogen is not widely used as fuel now, but it has the potential for greater use in the future, much greater than wind and solar.

David Collins

Oak Island reactor , really . Got our Oaks mixed up have we ? Surely you meant the experimental unit at Oak Ridge . Yup and it should be along with the three mile islands remaining unit. Those things are as old as methuselah and way out of date . Modern quality built reactors are presently in use aboard several types of Navy ships and subs and have been relatively trouble free for many years . No reason they could not be adapted to civilian use . Of course , security would be an issue due to their being a jucey target for mischief makers of all stripes . But then what isn’t these days ? A little explosive can take down a wind turbine as well as the control box for a solar farm . No problem . There is no free lunch , never has been , never will be .

Now our dear leader wants to dot the countryside with EV charging stations . Where will that extra capacity come from ? Will they be compatible with all brands of EVs . Big problem out there in EV land . How many hours will one have to cool their heels while awaiting a top off ? Grand ideas with so little thought behind them . Best to let reality catch up to technology . Patience grasshopper .

David Collins

Going to repeat a story that was shared recently . A certain physician in a major city in NC purchased a new Tesla Sport Sedan . 100 K worth of new . They hopped into it and drove to Bald Head Island . Trouble free . Problem was , the promised battery charging station could not charge a Tesla . Incompatible with the proprietary system . Soooo , had to have the EV transported home and rent a ride as well . Needless to say the family Audi will be used for trips while the Tesla will be a town car . Goes to explain why I have Never seen a Tesla transiting I-40 . Only locally . Range anxiety is the term used .

mpjeep

Coal has gotten much cleaner and new and better ways will be found to extract energy from coal without sending its dangerous byproducts into the environment.

Everyone in the US knows this except AOC and some won’t admit it, but coal is reliable in ways that renewable energy sources will never be.

Unless we’re willing to put up with blackouts that freeze grandma in the winter and melt her in the summer, coal will remain a mainstay power source for decades to come.

drewski

Coal is much cleaner then it used to be. Why? Dem administrations passed clean air laws that mandated stack gas scrubbers over the objections of the gop and their coal lobby brethren. " bad for biz, bad for the consumer bad for my honoriums from big coal they said. Many many coal plants in the usa now burn gas not coal. More are being converted. Gas is cheaper and cleaner. China is expanding coal fired plants, India as well. They are on the decline and will continue to be so in the United States.

Uses jack web voice " just the facts ..."

Dragnet theme fades slowly in background..

(Edited by staff.)

drewski

Actually no, oak island is incorrect the location is Southport where the Fukushima reactor prototype is being perm shut down, the cooling channel runs on the line between s'port and OI. My apologies for that geographic confusion.

drewski

The University of Strathclyde has predicted a global increase of wind turbine blade waste from around 400,000 tons per annum in 2030 to around 2 million tons by 2050.

So Strathclyde’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering developed a solution for thermal recovery and post-treatment process of glass fibers from GRP composites scrap to achieve near-virgin-quality glass fibers.

What was that I said... oh yes, always nay sayers and alternately innovators.. gotta love folks who see an issue and work to solve it.

David Collins

Sure , you can recycle fiberglass but at what cost energy wise and environmental as well ? Much better not to do the deed in the first place . But politics seems to trump common sense most every time , especially with the injection of cash incentives . Nothing like feeling good and getting paid for it as well . Now if we could just find a way to change the laws of physics , at least appear to and garner enough news hype , well , just think how much more money we can rake in .

Yeah , there is always someone that pops up with “ the answer “ , but then it is not . Just leads down yet one more rabbit hole .

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