A new report from the nonprofit organization Oceana indicates that oil and gas exploration should be replaced by offshore wind development on the East Coast, an area targeted for expansion of oil and gas activities.
The report, ‘Untapped Wealth: Offshore Wind Can Deliver Cleaner, More Affordable Energy and More Jobs Than Offshore Oil,’ says that offshore wind can generate nearly 30% more electricity than offshore oil and gas resources combined.
Wind development would cost approximately $36 billion less than offshore oil and gas production combined, while creating about three times as many jobs per dollar invested than fossil fuel production, the report says.
A small portion of renewable energy resources is sufficient to power the country several times over in a cost-effective way, the report adds. In addition, modest investment in offshore wind could supply almost half of the current electricity generation on the East Coast.
According to the report, Delaware, Massachusetts and North Carolina could generate enough electricity from offshore wind to equal current electricity generation, entirely eliminating the need for fossil-fuel-based electric generation.
Oceana recommends eliminating federal subsidies for fossil fuels and redirecting these funds to renewable energies and energy efficiency programs. Other recommendations include stopping all new offshore oil and gas drilling to prevent future spills and prioritizing the leasing of installation vessels for offshore wind turbine construction so that it is not impeded by offshore oil and natural-gas development.
Based on conservative assumptions for offshore wind and generous assumptions for offshore oil and natural gas, this study found that, by investing in offshore wind on the East Coast, rather than in offshore oil and gas, Americans would get more energy for less money, according to Oceana.