North Carolina & Wind Energy

Abundant Potential Energy in Our Own Backyard

        North Carolina has more potential offshore wind energy than other Atlantic state of the United States. North Carolina has the opportunity to harness this abundant and strong offshore wind resource to accommodate its growing energy demand. Utilizing this abundant wind resource can be done all while protecting the air, water, and natural beauty, unlike other energy sources currently used.

        However, with all this potential energy in our own backyard North Carolina is resistant to progress with the technology. The North Carolina General Assembly's current focus is on energy that pollutes the air, water, and threatens our beaches, which is causing North Carolina to fall behind neighboring Atlantic states when it comes to developing wind energy. The wind energy movement is experiencing strong push back from the coal and oil lobby. The coal and oil lobby are urging Congress to let federal tax incentives to expire instead of extending them to support both onshore and offshore wind power production. If these wind energy tax credits are allowed to expire, not only will pollution continue to increase threatening both human and environmental health but over 37,000 jobs would be lost. 

         The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has identified three areas, off the coast of North Carolina, that are favorable for wind energy facilities: Wilmington- West Wind Energy, Wilmington- East Wind Energy, and Kitty Hawk Energy Area (totaling 307,590 acreas).

NC Wind Energy Facts

  • North Carolina’s shallow-water wind resources are the best on the Atlantic coast, with 58 GW of available capacity.

  • 58 GW amounts to 130% of the state’s energy demands, which are projected to grow 40% over the next 20 years.

  • $2.35 billion is spent annually on the importation of coal into our state, amounting to 55% of our electricity generation.

  • The offshore wind industry stands to create 45,000 jobs in construction and 10,000- 20,0000 jobs in permanent maintenance over the next 20 years, delivering $22 billion in total economic benefit to our state.

Information, facts, and Graphics cited from:

North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club

http://nc.sierraclub.org/nosidebar/offshore-wind-basics

Environment North Carolina

http://www.environmentnorthcarolina.org/programs/nce/offshore-wind-nc