A coastal view
America has some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, particularly along the Atlantic coast where over 1,300 gigawatts (GW) of energy generation potential has been identified. Harnessing just a fraction of our offshore wind resource - 52 GW - could power about 14 million U.S. homes with local, pollution-free energy while creating over $200 billion in new economic activity along the coast.
As America struggles to revitalize our economy, create jobs, secure an energy independent future, and protect our communities and wildlife from the dangers of climate change, one energy source offers a golden opportunity to power our homes and businesses without creating more pollution - Atlantic offshore wind.
Offshore wind energy is a real, viable option for America and it's ready right now. Europe has been building offshore wind energy for over a decade, and is currently producing enough electricity from offshore wind to power 4 million homes. The first offshore wind farm in the world was installed off the coast of Denmark in 1991, and today over 4,000 MW of offshore wind capacity has been constructed. In just 2012, Europe has 13 offshore wind projects under construction, including the London Array -- a 1,000 MW project on track to be the largest offshore wind project in the world. This project is estimated to power 750,000 homes or about a quarter of Greater London. Across the European Union, over 40,000 people are currently employed in the offshore wind industry, and that number is expected to rise substantially in the next decade. Europe has a goal of reaching 40,000 MW of offshore wind capacity by 2020 -- enough electricity to power almost 13 million homes. By 2030, this level of offshore wind development is expected to host roughly 300,000 jobs.
China currently has developed 260 MW of offshore wind energy and has aggressive plans to ramp up development in the near term with a goal of installing 5,000 MW by 2015 and 30,000 MW by 2020 -- enough electricity to power 10 million homes, while Japan is moving quickly to advance offshore wind energy, having approved two projects expected to come online in 2013. The country's first floating offshore turbine was launched in August 2012, a demonstration project off the coast of Nagasaki.
Around the globe, countries are increasingly looking to their offshore winds as a safe, reliable energy source that has tremendous economic development benefits.