Last Wednesday, President Obama spoke about America’s Energy Security at Georgetown University. He states that our nation must discover ways to increase energy efficiency by using less oil and by integrating “cleaner, renewable sources of energy that also produce less carbon pollution.” (Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/03/30/remarks-president-americas-energy-security) The more our President uses vocabulary that includes words like: sustainable, renewable, clean, green, etc., the more we become aware of how people and jobs impact the environment and how we utilize our resources.
An example of the steps being taken toward renewable energy can be found at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. From April 3 – April 5, Solar Energy Industries Association and Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) presents PV (Photovoltaic) America 2011. This event showcases the latest developments and emerging technologies in the photovoltaic industry. Conference sessions are open to registrants who can learn more about State, Local, and Federal Policy; Social Compliance and Certification; Project, Marketing and Development, and Training; and Financing. To learn more about PV America 2011, visit their website for a listing of companies from the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions that are participating.
On another note, moves are being made by a Google-backed company, Atlantic Wind Connection, to build their energy transmission backbone along the east coast which would bring a capacity of up to 7,000 MW of wind generated electricity to shore. The 300-mile, $5 billion underwater transmission line is proposed to connect offshore wind farms to coastal states’ electricity grids in densely populated cities from New York to Virginia. However, in the first of five phases, applications must be reviewed by the US Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement. This proposal is already raising the attention of utilities companies to negotiate incentives and programs with the federal government.
Visit these sites to learn more:
In response to AWC’s project, Delaware is determining the possibilities in integrating the proposed connection to its electricity grid. Read more: (Source:http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20110331/NEWS02/103310360/Offshore-wind-line-link-Delaware-grid
In local news, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley released a statement March 31st, 2011 outlining his Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act, which is to “advance a safe, reliable, clean energy source that will help secure our energy future, create thousands of jobs and protect Maryland ratepayers over the long-term.” (Source: http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-03-31/news/bs-ed-omalley-hancock-letter-20110331_1_offshore-wind-wind-project-clean-energy. Unfortunately, O’Malley fails to get vote on offshore wind proposal from both Democrats and Republicans largely due to the fact this initiative will “increase consumer energy costs.”
In addition, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell voices support of offshore wind in order to boost the economy and produce renewable energy. Therefore, the state approved wind turbine testing in the Chesapeake Bay. As of now, only one of the two turbines will be installed, each “will be capable of producing five megawatts of power — enough to power 1,250 households.” (Source:http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-nws-offshore-wind-20110331,0,19648.story
Suffice it to say, there is a lot happening now in terms of changes in the ways we harness and utilize energy resources. The Mid-Atlantic region is steadily growing its number of clean and renewable energy initiatives and is on its way to becoming a leader in providing alternative energy resources.