By David Roberts, cross-posted from Vox. 21 Aug 2016. See link for the full article.
Here’s a cool map. The dark blue is land where today’s most familiar, established turbines can achieve a minimum of 30 percent CF. Lighter blue areas are where the best of today’s turbines can do that. Orange is where state-of-the-art turbines can do it.
So wind is coming, even to the Southeast.
- Wind power is extraordinarily popular with the American people. This Morning Consult post rounds up some of the polling. Around 90 percent of Americans believe the government should encourage wind energy — and that includes 80 percent of Republicans (some of the top wind states are run by Republicans). Always worth remembering: Climate change is a controversial issue, divided along partisan lines, but clean energy is not. Everyone loves clean energy.
- Wind power also employs a lot of Americans — 88,000, at last count. In fact, BLS says that wind turbine technician is the fastest growing profession in the country. The Dept. of Energy says wind power could support up to 380,000 jobs by 2030.
- Europe has had a robust offshore wind industry for a while, but the US has lagged in that area — there are zero offshore wind turbines currently operating in the US. That may finally be changing, though. The first US offshore wind farm (a modest affair) is expected to begin operation this fall. And Massachusetts just passed a bill that would require its utilities to get 1,600 MW of their power from offshore wind over coming decades. It’s all happening.