The Center for American Progress appears to be broadening its perspective on wind power to embrace offshore wind development. The Center and other organizations commissioned a study by the Brattle Group, a major electrical industry consulting firm, to study the viability of offshore wind power development. Here is a link to the report.
For years, the Center has been myopically touting land based Big Wind and Big Transmission. Now, they call offshore wind development “a resource that we have in abundance in close proximity to some of our areas of greatest demand for electricity.” Well, yeah. And it has been there all the time CAP has been pushing new land based wind development and expensive new transmission development.
The results [of the Brattle Group study] showed that there is great value in investing in offshore wind energy development, specifically:
- The investment required to develop 54 gigawatts would range between $18.5 billion and $150 billion. By comparison, subsidies to the oil industry from 1950 to 2010 were $369 billion, $104 billion to the coal industry, and $121 billion to the natural gas industry.
- The development would result in an average monthly-rate increase for American consumers ranging from 0.2 percent to 1.7 percent—as little as 25 cents per month for the average household electricity bill.
- Even with natural gas prices at an all-time low, the cost of electricity from offshore wind could equal the cost of electricity from gas turbines in about a decade.
The report itself is only 9 pages long, and it is a good read, with excellent statistics. Will the US respond to the challenge? Not if the entrenched US electrical industry and FERC’s pet RTO cartels have anything to do with it. As the US will slip further and further behind innovative power generation waves sweeping the world.