All New England states are aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 80% or more below 1990 levels by 2050. The most powerful resource we have to reach this goal is off-shore wind. The wind off New England’s shoreline is stronger than almost anywhere in the world.
Off-shore wind is particularly well-suited to meet New England’s clean power needs for several reasons:
- We have a densely populated coast with high energy demand near shore, and the shallow water on our continental shelf is ideal for turbines.
- The wind is not only powerful but it is strongest and most consistent during the winter when we most need energy for heating.
- There is sufficient wind to power our region ten times over.
At scale, off-shore wind power could reduce carbon dioxide emissions for New England by millions of metric tons per year—the equivalent of taking several million cars off the road. Moreover, wind energy will replace energy from dirty fossil fuel plants, thereby improving air quality and public health.
Climate change presents enormous threats to nature: birds, whales, and other wildlife both offshore and on land. By incorporating wildlife monitoring and mitigation, offshore wind can be developed responsibly and help ensure the protection of wildlife and other natural resources.
The economic potential of offshore wind is astounding—it’s a $100 billion industry waiting to happen. We can expect hundreds of new jobs both during the construction and operation of Salem’s new wind port. The development of the port is an opportunity to bring quality union jobs to Salem while investing in a clean energy future.
For ratepayers, wind power should lead to a reduction in costs. The cost of developing offshore wind farms has already decreased nearly 80% in the U.S., and the cost will continue to fall. And, since it is immune to the price spikes that plague fossil fuels like oil and natural gas, over time offshore wind power will save ratepayers tens of billions of dollars.