The US is used to being a leader in implementing new technology, not in alternate energy. Because of our addiction to oil, and the influence of oil companies on politicians, the US is way behind. Even inventions made in this country are implemented in other countries. The Obama administration has finally made a significant decision related to wind energy that will finally put America among the countries that produce wind energy offshore. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved the nation's first offshore wind farm, known as Cape Wind, located 5 miles off Massachusetts coast.
This project has been under consideration since 2001. As we waited, China and other countries, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom built their offshore wind farms. The world’s largest wind farm recently opened in UK with 100 turbines. It is capable of producing electricity for 200,000 homes. Wind farms produce roughly 2% of America’s energy, all from land-based facilities. Offshore locations are considered optimal because winds are stronger and more consistent. If the goal of ‘20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030’ is to be achieved, around 18% of the nation's wind energy should come from offshore sites. There are 16 offshore wind farms under construction in the Europe. The US has none, yet.
If you think a project like this which creates jobs and produces clean energy by the private sector will get support from everyone, you are wrong. Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican Presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, and Republican Senator Scott Brown oppose the project. They are all for offshore drilling but when it comes to offshore wind farming they are worried that the proposed location, between the main island of Cape and Martha’s Vineyard, for the wind farm is a national treasure and should be left undisturbed.
Cape Wind farm, when completed, will have 130 turbines producing 420 megawatt and will supply about 75% of the power needed by the Cape and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. It is a project that moves the US in the right direction. It is a small but a significant step by President Obama and his administration.