The Beacon

Blog Tags: Offshore Wind

Offshore Wind Needs a Boost from Congress

(Photo: Boris Dzhingarov)

Like so many of us, Oceana has seen the damage that the drilling for and burning of fossil fuels can do to the health of our oceans and marine life. In fact, just last May, for the first time in history, the Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide levels reached 400 parts per million (ppm). This ominous milestone is a stark reminder of what our stubborn dependence on fossil fuels is doing to our planet. Such dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are bringing us ever closer to the point of no return, and we are already witnessing its disastrous effects.


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Clean Energy’s Sleeping Giant Awakens

(Photo: Kim Hansen)

Last week, Oceana partnered with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in putting on their annual Offshore WindPower Conference and Exhibition in Providence, Rhode Island. The conference was a complete success and it was clear for any attendee that offshore wind energy, one of the most abundant clean energy resources, is finally starting to take off in the U.S.


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The Promising Future of Offshore Wind Power

Offshore wind farms, like this one in England, can harness a clean and infinite source of energy. (Photo: Nuon)

 

Oceana is a proud event partner of the American Wind Energy Association’s (AWEA) Offshore WindPower Conference and Exhibition, which will take place on October 22-23 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island. I will be attending the conference, along with our very own Matt Huelsenbeck, to raise the profile of Oceana’s work in promoting offshore wind development and to learn about the latest developments in the industry.


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Offshore Wind Development Expands Along Virginia’s Coast

Offshore wind turbines can help stop deadly drilling disasters like the 2010 Gulf Oilspill. (Photo: phault) 

 

We have some exciting news to share on our efforts to promote renewable energy: today the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) leased almost 113,000 acres off the coast of Virginia for wind energy development in a live auction.


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Historic Day for Offshore Wind! First-Ever U.S. Offshore Wind Lease Sale in New England

Offshore wind turbines off Walney Island in the Irish Sea. l Photo: Andy Dingley

Big news for offshore wind! Yesterday, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held the first-ever competitive offshore wind lease sale in the U.S. off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The Wind Energy Area, located 9.2 nautical miles offshore, covers about 164,750 acres and is divided into two lease areas, referred to as the North Lease Area, and the South Lease Area, which cover 97,500 and 67,250 acres, respectively. This is an important and momentous step towards developing a clean, abundant energy source in the U.S.


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DOI to Auction VA Waters for Wind Energy Development

Photo: Andy Dingley

On Monday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that it will auction off nearly 112,800 acres of Virginia’s coastal waters for wind energy development. Scheduled for September 4, the lease sale will be the second of its kind in the U.S., following the auction of approximately 164,750 acres off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts later this month. 


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Obama's Climate Plan Will Reduce CO2, Increase Clean Energy

President Obama speaks at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, about the future of our environment, and his climate plan for the years to come. 

In a speech today at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama laid out his climate plan for the United States moving forward in the months, years, and decades ahead. Oceana was pleased to hear President Obama promoting clean energy like wind and solar energy, but wishes that he had also mentioned offshore wind – a form of energy that is safe for our oceans and its creatures, and forever sustainable.


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Scottish Government Welcomes New Wind Subsidies!

Scotland hopes to boost development of offshore wind through new federal subsidies. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In a move to promote the development of offshore wind, the Scottish government has introduced new wind subsidies.  Offshore wind is a renewable energy source which will help us transition from polluting fossil fuels to a clean and renewable energy future.  For years, Oceana has been working to promote the responsible development of offshore wind energy in the U.S. because we believe that this untapped resource can help mitigate the effects of global climate change and ocean acidification while at the same time boosting our economy with good-paying American jobs.


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A historic time for offshore wind

Offshore wind farm

The first offshore wind turbine in the U.S. was recently deployed off the coast of Maine. The pilot project uses a floating platform with a small wind turbine affixed to a tower. The project is a small, but significant step toward developing an abundant clean energy resource in the U.S.


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CEO Note: Maryland Takes the Lead

Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless

If you’re a Marylander like me, this is a time to be proud. The Old Line State has stepped forward, making ocean conservation a priority and providing an example that other states would be wise to follow.

First, Maryland became a leader in developing offshore wind energy by passing The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act of 2013, which was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley this week. The measure will help spur the development of at least 200 megawatts of renewable energy off Maryland’s coast – enough to power about 200,000 homes.

While wind turbines already dot Europe’s coast, the United States has yet to construct a single offshore wind farm. Maryland’s legislation marks an important milestone on this country’s path to a clean ocean energy future.

This victory was made possible by the tireless advocacy of Oceana and a diverse coalition of environmental, faith, business and community groups, all of which recognized the need to transition to this clean and abundant form of energy, and away from fossil fuels. Special thanks to Chesapeake Climate Action Network, National Wildlife Federation, Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Maryland Sierra Club and Environment Maryland for helping to pressure lawmakers to take this first step towards a greener energy portfolio for the state.

Second, both the Maryland House and Senate passed a bill to prohibit the sale and trade of shark fins. Pending the signature of the Governor, Maryland will become the first state on the East Coast to adopt such a ban. Approximately 100 million sharks are killed each year, primarily to support the demand for shark fin soup. While shark finning is banned in the U.S, this brutal practice—which involves slicing the fins off a live shark and then dumping it back in the water where it is left to die—is still occurring around the world.  By stopping the shark fin trade in state, Maryland can help protect sharks worldwide.

So congratulations Maryland, but remember, there’s a lot of work still left to do to protect our oceans. As for the rest of the states, what are you waiting for?


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