Wind energy

A wind energy turbine uses two or three propeller-like blades to convert kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy that is used to turn an electric generator. The blade-diameter of the biggest wind turbines can reach 130 feet while the smallest are used for charging batteries and for auxiliary power on boats. A wind farm is a power plant that uses many wind turbines and can cover hundreds of square miles. Large grid-connected arrays of land-based wind turbines are becoming an increasingly important source of commercial electricity. Currently, there is only one offshore wind farm in the US but that is about to change because costs have decreased, technology has improved and states have mandated ambitious renewable-energy goals. Northeast states hold the most offshore wind potential. Our federal government has leased 15 commercial ocean sites for $472 million in anticipation of new windfarm construction. Our Interior Department, noting this vast untapped resource, has astonishingly claimed the potential of offshore wind energy offers more than four times our current electricity consumption. Currently, wind turbines produce nearly 10% of our electricity needs. Solar and wind power combined is expected to generate 24% of our energy needs this year.

Opponents say wind farms are harmful to birds, whales and other wildlife, and are too noisy to live beside. But studies have shown these structures act as artificial reefs which attract fish, crustaceans and seals that feed upon them. However, fishermen worry about the impacts such as noise, electromagnetic fields, sedimentation and habitat alteration turbines will have on fish stocks.

Proposed Legislation: Reintroduction of H.R.3473 - Offshore WIND Act (116th Congress 2019-2020)
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. James Langevin (RI)

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May 22, 2023
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May 28, 2023

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