MONDAY 02 APRIL, 2012 |
Great Lakes Offshore Wind Power Moves Ahead
The Obama Administration says the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
with state governors of the Great Lakes region will open America’s north-east
to 'more than 700 gigawatts' of offshore wind power.
The governors of Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, and Pennsylvania all
signed the agreement, designed to ensure state and federal agencies work
together on approvals for new wind farm proposals through a new streamlined
With energy a hot-button topic as America’s mammoth election cycle begins to
roll on, wind power is seen as a vital part of Obama’s "all of the
above" approach to solving the nation’s reliance on imported oil.
Obama has faced criticism for spruiking renewable energy - such as big solar
power projects - as the foreign oil and climate change cure-all, and so recently
changed tack to a position of "all of the above" (a phrase originally
introduced by Republicans to describe a policy of increasing domestic energy
supplies of oil, coal and gas; nuclear; wind power; large-scale solar, etc.,).
"President Obama is focused on leveraging American energy sources,
including increased oil and gas production, the safe development of nuclear
power, as well as renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, which is on
track to double in the President's first term," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of
the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Obama hit back at critics recently while visiting
a major solar farm
, calling those who oppose renewable energy as
"charter members of the Flat Earth Society".
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Great Lakes have the
potential to supply up to one-fifth of the total wind energy of the entire
continental United States and that by turning even small areas of the region
over to wind farm development would create tens of thousands of jobs and boost
With the USA’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimating every gigawatt
of offshore wind capacity installed could produce enough electricity to power
300,000 homes, the Great Lakes could become a massive clean energy asset for the
Last month the DOE announced $180 million in funding for new innovative offshore
wind energy installations
in the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico and the
Pacific, which could provide clean energy to coastal cities where much of the
nation's population and electricity demand lies.
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