Florida Wildlife Federation,
New Report: A Turning Point for Florida Offshore Wind Energy
Will Federal and State Leaders Take Advantage of America’s Golden Opportunity?
Tallahassee (September 13, 2012) – Florida can create jobs while powering our homes and businesses with local, clean energy, but only if our elected officials and regulators take the right steps now, according to a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation, Environment America, the Florida Wildlife Federation and Environment Florida. The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future
details the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy, potential obstacles to progress, and a prosperous path forward.
“America’s Atlantic coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world, the technology to harvest it is ready right now, and we have workers ready to do the job,” said Catherine Bowes
, the National Wildlife Federation’s senior manager for new energy solutions and lead author of the report. “We need to take advantage of this golden opportunity to make our electricity supply cleaner, more wildlife-friendly, and more secure.”
“Florida residents get a double win with offshore wind energy – not only does our economy benefit from the jobs and energy security that wind energy brings, but especially as a coastal state, we all benefit from cutting the carbon pollution that’s fueling sea level rise and stronger hurricanes,” said Jay Liles, Policy Consultant to the Florida Wildlife Federation. “Congress needs to act now and send a clear signal that America is committed to clean energy.”
Among the highlights of the report: · Offshore wind energy will be an economic powerhouse
. Harnessing just 52 gigawatts of Atlantic offshore wind energy – just 4 percent of the estimated generation potential of this massive resource – could generate $200 billion in economic activity, create 300,000 jobs, and sustain power for about 14 million homes. · Leadership is urgently needed
at both the state and federal level to ensure offshore wind energy becomes a reality: o
President Obama should set a clear national goal for offshore wind energy development. Federal regulators must continue to move forward with an efficient, environmentally-responsible permitting process for offshore wind projects that grants leases to developers by the end of 2012. Leases must include strong safeguards for coastal and marine wildlife. o
Congress needs to step up and provide much-needed tax incentives – such as the Investment Tax Credit, Production Tax Credit, and Advanced Energy Project Credit – to advance this new job-creating industry. · Offshore wind energy can and must be developed in a wildlife-friendly manner
. Not only do scientific studies show that properly locating turbines and requiring best management practices can minimize impacts on birds, bats, sea turtles and marine mammals, but transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy benefits all wildlife from cleaner air and water and cutting the carbon pollution that causes climate change.
“Offshore wind energy can generate explosive job growth, not just putting up turbines but loading ships, developing cutting edge technologies – like those being offered in Panama City, Florida where De Tech, Inc. provides bird avoidance radar systems that are showing impressive results here in Florida and around the world.” said Liles. “We can preserve the outdoor traditions that have made our coastal communities special while strengthening our economy, energy security, and environment for future generations.” The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future
is available online at: www.nwf.org/offshorewind
Get more National Wildlife Federation news at NWF.org/News
*** The National Wildlife Federation is America's largest conservation organization inspiring Americans to protect wildlife for our children's future. The Florida Wildlife Federation is the Florida affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation and has worked to conserve Florida’s unique natural resources for people and wildlife for the past 75 years. www.fwfonline.org