Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Offshore Wind Energy

    The New York Times article talks about offshore wind farming and the current issues going on with the new market. The article begins by stating that in 2013 President Obama began auctioning off offshore leases along the Eastern Seaboard. However, projects in New England, New Jersey, and Delaware are struggling or have already died. Four parcels were auctioned off in Massachusetts but only two drew interest; further, the bids were substantially lower than previous auction prices. Two out of twelve companies allowed took place in the bidding. Offshore MW and RES American Development acquired parcels for roughly $1.50/acre or less. Last year developers installed 4,854 megawatts of capacity last year totally the capacity to 65,879 megawatts, enough to power 18 million homes. While evident that offshore wind farming may be a industry, Block Island Wind Farm plans to sink five turbines off the coast of Rhode Island.
    I personally think that offshore wind farming is a good idea and can be beneficial in providing an alternative source of energy to residents and even businesses. I do however believe that it is a market that most companies do not want to risk entering, and therefore these leases are not being bid on. It does seem that the Obama Administration has not made any further pushes for offshore wind farming like they had envisioned. The article mentioned Fishermen’s Energy and how they have been stymied by state regulators about rules for renewable energy credits that get issued as the electricity produced. These credits are apparently an important part of the income. I do agree with the article when it said that states need to essentially do more to create a market for this electricity.

--Frank Tabares

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