It’s only the beginning of the beginning of a new U.S. power supply. But the soon-to-open offshore wind farm at Block Island, R.I. teases thought of what could be only a decade away.
An additional 22 offshore wind projects — mostly on the Atlantic Coast in relatively shallow oceanic waters — are in various stages of development, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. These U.S. ocean projects will follow extensive offshore energy projects in Britain, Denmark, Germany and other European countries which have, “in the last 15 years invested billions of dollars in offshore wind farms in the North, Baltic and Irish Seas”, The New York Times reports http://nyti.ms/2bWLiq9
Of course, there are formidable economic and technological obstacles to be overcome, not to mention the kind of “not-in-my-ocean” community resistance that the Block Island project confronted. But the federal government and several states have issued supportive regulations and/or required local utilities to buy electricity generated by offshore turbines.
“A few decades ago, The Times opines, “the idea of harnessing the power of ocean winds seemed entirely impractical. In the next 10 years, these offshore farms should be commonplace.”