Center for American Progress

Offshore Wind Is an Economical Source of Renewable Energy

Offshore Wind Is an Economical Source of Renewable Energy

A new CAP issue brief illustrates the economic benefits of offshore wind.

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In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama touted the growth of the American renewable energy sector that has occurred during his time in office—particularly the doubling of “the amount renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar.” He pointed out that “Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America.” These metrics are proof that the renewable energy sector is capable of boosting economic growth while moving us away from the dirty energy sources of the past.

Yet despite the booming expansion of onshore renewable energy facilities, the United States still lags behind many other industrialized countries when it comes to development of a resource that we have in abundance in close proximity to some of our areas of greatest demand for electricity: offshore wind. As we have stood on the sidelines over the past two decades, other countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Germany, and even China have leapt ahead of us, recognizing the inherent value of this strong, commercially viable, renewable resource. As of June 2012, the rest of the world boasted 4,619 megawatts of installed offshore wind energy capacity, while the United States has yet to begin construction on its first offshore wind turbine.

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