Offshore wind farms can have some benefits for marine life, according to researchers. The wind turbines can serve as artificial reefs for barnacles, which attracts hungry fish and hungry seals.
The Obama administration issued new support for offshore wind power projects this week as part of the president's Climate Action Plan. While land-based wind power has expanded in recent years, the renewable energy source has struggled to gain hold off the coasts.
New research suggests offshore wind turbines can absorb significant energy from hurricanes, reducing winds, waves, and storm surge. A bank of wind turbines strategically placed off the coast could have reduced hurricane Sandy flooding by up to a third and the winds of Katrina by up to 92 miles per hour.
Denton, Texas is known for its festivals and eclectic music scene, Guevara-Stone writes, but the bustling community 30 miles northwest of Dallas is also a leader in clean energy, boasting more wind power per capita than any other city in the nation.
Subsidies for wind energy end at midnight Dec. 31, but Democrats are pushing for renewal of wind's production tax credit for 2014. Opponents say the subsidies are costly and inefficient.
Wind energy faces yet another scheduled expiration of the wind Production Tax Credit that has promoted growth in the industry for two decades. Replacing it with a smarter policy emphasizing innovation, Styles writes, would be beneficial for taxpayers, the environment, and even the US wind energy industry.