“Wind Mills, Not Oil Spill, The Environmental and Economic Benefits of Offshore Wind Versus Offshore Drilling in North Carolina” is the name of the directorial manifesto, authored by Environment North Carolina, which will guide North Carolina in its fight against the consequences of Senate Bill 820. The controversial 820, which was passed after numerous vetoes by one vote (upon the error of pressing the wrong button), will open North Carolina’s borders to fracking in two years.
Despite the bill’s passing, a myriad of stately facts concerning offshore wind’s economic and environmental potential seems to support its implementation. A few outstanding statistics have been compiled from Offshore Wind NC’s website:
- North Carolina’s shallow-water wind resources are the best on the Atlantic coast, with 58 GW of available capacity;
- 58 GW amounts to 130% if the state’s energy demands, which are projected to grow 40% over the next 20 years;
- $2.35 billion is spent annually on the importation of coal into our state, amounting to 55% of our electricity generation;
- The offshore wind industry stands to create 45,000 jobs in construction, and 9,100 jobs in permanent maintenance over the next 20 years, delivering $22 billion in total economic benefit to our state.
North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue is heralding the advocacy for the sustainable energy initiative. Her establishment of a scientific panel on offshore energy may attest to that. Other North Carolina power giants, such as Duke and Progress Energy, have expressed support for offshore wind. Urban design, urban planning, landscape architecture, and architecture design in North Carolina may all be expected to face influence from the green undertaking.
Also of interest is the Atlantic Wind Connection, which seeks to establish a “superhighway of clean energy” by connecting offshore wind farms across the east coast.
Fracking and offshore wind have long stood at odds with one another. The former can be seen to represent instant economic growth, and the latter instant environmental protection. Today, which is the more important?
Credits: Image and data linked to sources.