If you missed it, be sure to check out the lead weekend editorial in Raleigh’s News & Observer – “Strong winds off the coast could power a clean energy economy in North Carolina.” As the authors explain, it’s long past time for us to move aggressively to make use of North Carolina’s plentiful offshore winds to create sustainable energy and good jobs.
This from the editorial:
Building offshore wind turbines would help slow climate change and would also decrease environmental damage by reducing the dirty process of extracting and transporting fossil fuels. Just last August, a pipeline breach spilled about 1.2 million gallons of gasoline near Huntersville. Duke Energy customers will be paying for years to help clean out the utility’s coal ash pits.
…Beyond its environmental benefits, wind power could also bring strong economic gains not only in construction and maintenance, but in manufacturing of turbines. The Department of Commerce report said North Carolina’s manufacturing sector could develop coastal factories to make wind turbine towers and blades that are so large they can only be transported by water.
“Wind energy means new jobs for North Carolinians,” said Machelle Sanders, North Carolina’s commerce secretary. “Just like biotechnology was for us many years ago, today clean energy represents an industry of the future and North Carolina always embraces the future.”
There are also legitimate concerns about how building and operating the massive offshore turbines could affect the fishing industry, wildlife, military flights and tourism. These concerns should be addressed in consultation with stakeholders.Though not yet a sure thing for North Carolina, wind power is much closer to becoming one. There’s no doubt about where the pursuit of more clean energy should go next. Go where the wind blows.