Offshore Wind: What Steps Need to Be Taken to Ensure It Has a Future in America

By Puliafico, Amy | The Journal of High Technology Law, January 2012 | Go to article overview

Offshore Wind: What Steps Need to Be Taken to Ensure It Has a Future in America


Puliafico, Amy, The Journal of High Technology Law


Cite as 12 J. High Tech. L. 330 (2011)

Offshore wind development has failed to develop in the United States despite the growing trend toward green energy. (1) Wind turbines produce energy with no air or water pollution. (2) Unlike land-based farms, offshore wind farms can be larger, gather more wind, and produce more power than each one on land. (3) Yet, unclear zoning laws, overlapping jurisdictions, and public opposition have entirely stopped the development of this green energy source. (4)

Massachusetts and other coastal states have yet to deal with these issues effectively, so only a few projects are beginning to take shape. (5) The Cape Wind project claimed it would be America's first offshore wind farm, but ten years into development not a single turbine has been installed. (6) NIMBY-ism, redundant sources of law, lack of clear jurisdictional boundaries, and dozens of sources of authority have stopped all forward progress. (7) In response, Massachusetts passed the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan in 2010, and the legislature attempted to enact the Wind Energy Siting Reform Act to address some of these issues. (8)

This Note addresses how Massachusetts has dealt with its offshore wind farm and the subsequent steps it has taken to remedy the problems encountered by Cape Wind. It will compare land-based and offshore projects to explain the differences in and provide examples for offshore zoning law. Then the Note will address the feasibility and potential future use of ocean plans in permitting. Finally, this Note will analyze state and federal regulations plus judicial review procedure for offshore wind turbines and suggest some alternatives. Offshore energy is a growing field, which is why the states, federal government, and courts need to develop a cohesive, efficient, environmentally friendly way of handling it.

I. History

A. Introduction

It is important to understand how wind is transformed into clean energy. Wind energy is captured using wind turbines that look like windmills. (9) The turbine has a rotor, which typically has three aerodynamic blades that are pushed by the wind, and can be turned so they face in the direction to receive the most wind possible. (10) Next, the mechanical energy of the rotating rotor goes into the generator where it is converted into electrical energy. (11) From there, the energy is moved through transmission lines to join energy from other turbines within the same grid. (12) The grids connect to an electronic service platform on land via a transmission line where breakers and electric relays transmit the power to electric companies or directly to power outlets. (13)

Unlike offshore wind farms, America has embraced land-based wind farms due to the available space and lower energy costs. (14) However, land-based farms are limited because it is wasteful to transfer electricity over long distances, and these farms are located in sparsely populated areas. (15) More than half of the United States population lives near the ocean, so offshore projects can be larger, and reach people easier, without the high transmission costs. (16) Additionally, offshore winds are "typically stronger and less turbulent than land-based winds, increasing the revenue potential," which can offset the higher costs of installation and maintenance. (17) Offshore development is the next logical and necessary step in green technology. (18)

Wind energy is not an American technology; Europe installed the first offshore wind project and is currently leading the way. (19) As of 2009, Europe had approximately twenty-five operational wind farms off its coast. (20) Presently, nine countries have over thirty-nine offshore wind farms comprising over 2,063 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity, with fifty-two more projects already permitted, totaling more than 16,000 megawatts. (21) That number is likely to continue to grow dramatically, as the European Union recently committed to generating twenty percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2 0 2 0. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Offshore Wind: What Steps Need to Be Taken to Ensure It Has a Future in America
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.