the staff of the Ridgewood blog
TRENTON NJ, The Board of Public Utilities today released a report detailing the progress made toward the state’s offshore wind goals in the year since Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 8 directing the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) to fully implement the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act (OWEDA).
“We have gone from having no program on the day the Governor was inaugurated 55 weeks ago to developing a cutting edge offshore wind program with a goal of 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030,” NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “Offshore wind is a key aspect of the Governor’s clean energy initiatives as we put in place policies aimed at combatting the effects of climate change.”
“Right now, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to establish New Jersey as a global leader in offshore wind,” said New Jersey Economic Development Authority CEO Tim Sullivan. “Thanks to Governor Murphy’s vision, we are working with partners across State government to build a deeper understanding of the offshore wind project life cycle, supply chain, and workforce requirements. This will pave the way for the thousands of good-paying job opportunities and other economic benefits the State’s investment in this innovative sector will bring.”
“The development of offshore wind energy is critical to fighting climate change and sea-level rise as well as achieving the Governor’s clean energy goals,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “Offshore wind energy represents vast potential for generation of green energy that will create jobs and economic growth that will make New Jersey stronger.”
World energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.
However the ugly reality of wind energy is that if wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.
At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area greater than the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs.