According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2019, about 17% of the electricity generated was from renewable sources (primarily wind, solar & hydropower), with 7% coming from wind (42% from renewable energy).
Converting wind into electricity is increasingly affordable, but it can sometimes be difficult to get the various governmental approvals necessary to string the power lines from the remote areas where the energy is produced to the more populated places where it’s consumed. Towns like Palm Springs receive all of their electricity from wind farms surrounding the town. But getting wind from Missouri to the East is more complicated.
While Amory B. Lovins, co-founder and chief scientist at the Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado-based nonprofit organization that advises on renewable energy, said, “We could run the whole East Coast on offshore wind,” his words were prescient. The first five turbines,a 30 MW project developed by Deepwater Wind, a company now owned by Orsted, went live in 2016 providing 100% energy to Block Island with the excess going to Rhode Island’s mainland.
After four years of apparent inactivity, the incoming Biden administration moved swiftly to announce a goal of 30 GW by 2030. Already by May, 2021, BOEM approved Vineyard Wind, an 84-turbine 800 MW facility offshore Massachusetts, which will produce enough electricity by 2023 to power 400,000 homes. BOEM moved other reviews on the East Coast forward, and designated new areas to investigate on the East and West Coasts, not to mention the Gulf of Mexico. It appears as if BOEM’s review of the South Fork Wind Farm, a 15-turbine, 132 MW project southeast off Long Island, with a cable landing in East Hampton, will be complete in January, 2022.
CREDIT: US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY