Episode 177: How do coastal towns feel about offshore wind projects compared to onshore ones in their community?

Wind Energy Coastal Region

Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Engineering and Public Policy Department, discusses how coastal towns feel about offshore wind projects compared to onshore ones in their community?

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Learn More

Offshore Wind Energy by Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Onshore Wind Energy: What are the pros and cons? by The Guardian

Advantages and Challenges of Wind Energy by the Department of Energy

Frequently Asked Questions About Windy Energy by the Department of Energy

Transcript

HOST: Have you ever wondered how coastal towns feel about offshore wind projects compared to onshore ones in their community? On this week’s Energy Bite, Julian Lamy, a recent PhD graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, has some answers.

JULIAN: We found that residents of coastal communities strongly prefer having an onshore project in their town instead of an offshore project 5 miles at sea. We estimate that the value of this preference is equivalent to $5.6 million per year. The main objection to offshore was the changes to the ocean landscape, which many participants thought defined their community. This demonstrates the massive challenge that state governments will face when trying to build offshore wind projects, like Massachusetts which requires about 1,600 megawatts of offshore capacity in the next 10 years.

HOST: Does that mean that offshore wind development is doomed from the start?

JULIAN: No. A solution could be to locate offshore wind projects further from shore where they are not visible at least 30 miles out. Floating offshore turbines, as opposed to traditional turbines cemented to the seabed, could enable such projects. Our work suggests that the additional cost for floating offshore is worth it.

HOST: If you lived near the ocean, would you prefer an offshore or onshore wind farm? Take our poll, see the results, and ask your energy questions at Energy Bite dot org.

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