While Congress and the candidates keep getting their underthings twisted around offshore oil, there's another offshore energy source ripe for exploitation: Wind.
Delaware, according to MSNBC, is set to host the nation's first offshore wind farm, in 2012.
That would still leave the United States way behind other coastal nations -- like Germany, with its plans for 30 offshore wind farms, or the U.K., with its plans for enough offshore wind capacity to electrify every home there by 2020, or Denmark, which gets about 20% of its electricity from wind. But it's a start.
"Those wind-driven turbines probably will be operating long before oil platforms appear off Atlantic Coast states," MSNBC notes.
Wind power isn't without its drawbacks. Putting a turbine in the wrong place could mean making mince meat of migrating birds, or bats. And some consider them unsightly blights on the landscape. Offshore, at least, they're blips apparent from the shore only on the most clear days, and can typically be built away from the migratory paths of birds.
While wind power produces only 1% of U.S. electricity today, some estimate it could produce as much as 20% by 2030. And, coupled with conservation -- the largest single untapped source of future energy -- wind can be an important piece of the American energy puzzle in a low-carbon future.
So why isn't the mantra, from either party, "Build turbines. Here. Now." ?
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