Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Offshore energy

Wind or oil?

A new study from Oceana
suggests that offshore wind energy could be more cost effective and create more jobs than offshore oil.


Ryan McKnight said...

Unfortunately, the most cost effective projects are not always the ones that get political approval. Lobbying will play a major role in deciding whether or not the offshore oil rigs get built. I'm not sure the wind industry's lobbyists are strong enough to compete and win against "big oil."

Filorux said...

While in Scotland, my wife and I visited "Our Dynamic Earth," ( which is this kinda like something you might find at Epcot Center, Disney, only warped into this parking lot in front of 7 famous hills in Edinburgh, Scotland. It has a number of exhibits inside, but there was one dealing with alternative energy. In the section dealing with wind energy, the main counter argument was that migratory birds would be killed as they flew through the offshore wind farms. Mind you, this was right after we had spent about an hour walking through the evolution exhibit - and so I couldn't help but think, isn't this the kind of problem that evolution would take care of? Sure, initially you'd get some dead birds, but presumably not all of them. Those with the good instinct to not fly through the huge whirly blades-of-death would have children which would be less likely to fly through said blade, and so on. Maybe I'm wrong, but if this is the strongest counter to wind energy I don't see what the hold up is.

Ryan H

Tanya LaVallee said...

I agree with what Filorux argued. Just last week a rep from Oceana came and talked to one of my other classes and I learned of how the United States is so very far behind the rest of the world on wind energy implementation. Not only would this provide an alternative energy source, but also many well needed jobs to help stimulate our economy.

From that lecture I also learned that another problem, that they are still investigating impacts on, deals with whales and their communication. Since the turbines put off vibration, they are worried that it might also impact whales migration. This has not been proven, and they are still researching it however.

Michelle Flemming said...

I also had an Oceana rep come and talk to our class about it, and he stayed for about 40 minutes answering question after question. For me, I can't think of a reason why North Carolina shouldn't do this. Even if it doesn't solve all of our energy needs it is still a step in the right direction.

Here is an article about a proposed "transmission backbone for future offshore wind farms" off the coast of delaware going from NJ to Va. Google and New York financial firm agreed to invest heavily in it. Apparently it would make building future wind farms a little easier, and would initially bring cheaper energy to NJ. It says the biggest hurdles are administrative procedures, not engineering problems. So I'm thinking... what are we waiting for? Our shift has to be made to a cleaner energy eventually. If the wind farm we could have off the coast of North Carolina could actually produce enough energy for our state why not do it?

As for the birds, the rep said a study has been done and showed that the leading killer of birds are stray cats and running into windows. And as for me, if birds happen to die because of our energy needs, I'd rather see it happen because of a giant fan instead of disgusting oil. At least they saw it coming.

Alexis M said...

I think it is a good idea to use offshore wind energy. It could create more jobs and would be cleaner than getting oil off our shores. A problem would be the effect it could have on birds and other wildlife. Do we know how fish and other wildlife would be affected by this?