Fact Checks

  • FACT: Offshore wind energy in the U.S. has immense potential to spur job growth and power a significant amount of the country with cost-effective electricity.

  • According to NREL, the U.S. can generate 54 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, powering 42 million homes and spurring $200 billion in economic activity in the process. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, September 2010, http://1.usa.gov/1kAapdM)

  • Adding 54 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030 would have a minimal impact on electricity prices. In fact, according to one study, such an intense ramp up of offshore wind would only raise U.S. electricity rates by 0.2% - 1.7%. (The Brattle Group, February 2013, http://bit.ly/1qOJ8bk)

  • Total offshore wind energy potential in the U.S. is 4,223 gigawatts. That's more than 4x the amount of electricity currently consumed in the U.S. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, July 2012, http://1.usa.gov/1kA5UQo)

  • About 1/3rd of all U.S. electricity demand can be met by the offshore wind resources off the coast of the eastern United States. (Wind Energy Journal, July 2012, http://stanford.io/1l91GiH)

  • Adding 1,200 megawatts of offshore wind energy to New England's grid will protect ratepayers from volatile fossil fuel price spikes, saving the region over $350 million per year. (Newton Energy Group, June 2014, http://bit.ly/1zMNFkD)

  • The Cape Wind offshore wind farm will begin powering 75% of Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard by 2016. (New York Times, February 2014, http://nyti.ms/1fL56IV)

  • Clean energy investment grew by 9% in Q2 2014, thanks in large part to $3.8 billion invested in a 700 megawatt wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. (Bloomberg, http://bloom.bg/UaepdU)

  • Installing 7,700 megawatts of offshore wind energy off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic States (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA) would create 177,000 jobs in those states. (IHS Global Insight, October 2012, http://bit.ly/UfLSUv)

  • Offshore wind energy already supports over 58,000 jobs in Europe. That number is expected to rise to 191,000 jobs by 2020. (European Wind Energy Association, http://bit.ly/1nPm8tS)

  • Worldwide, there are 924 offshore wind projects planned, under construction, or currently generating energy. (The Wind Power Database, http://bit.ly/1pfeQgU)

  • Offshore wind energy is the fastest growing power sector in Europe. (European Wind Energy Association, July 2014, http://bit.ly/UfKvVP)

  • An offshore wind energy site with an average wind speed of 16 mph would produce 50% more electricity than an onshore wind energy site with the same turbine and average wind speeds of 14 mph. (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, July 2013, http://1.usa.gov/WFjVUC)

  • Areas off the Atlantic coast already designated for offshore wind energy could generate up to 16,000 megawatts per year, enough to power more than 5 million homes, without negatively impacting the environment or marine life. (National Wildlife Federation, July 2014, http://bit.ly/1jUa8HR)

  • When projects are sited correctly and mitigation measures are followed, offshore wind energy does not have a significant impact on the marine environment. (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, http://1.usa.gov/1nfO3UN)

  • Businesses involved in offshore wind energy continue to innovate. Vestas is planning to begin testing a 10 megawatt offshore wind turbine, the largest wind turbine ever assembled. (Reuters, July 2014, http://reut.rs/1sGD9GP)

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