Better Choices, Better Results: Moving Maryland Towards Wind Power

03/19/2013 07:56 am ET Updated May 19, 2013
General view of a turbine at a wind farm at Siddick in Cumbria. The government is publishing its Energy White Paper, which is
General view of a turbine at a wind farm at Siddick in Cumbria. The government is publishing its Energy White Paper, which is expected to send a strong message of support fof up to 20% of electricity to be produced by renewable energy. * Campaigners had been hoping that the Government would stick to previous aims of ensuring that 10% of energy would be generated by renewables by 2010 increasing to 20% by 2020, but Energy minister Brian Wilson said he was less interested in setting targets than in creating the conditions which will help renewable energy take an increasing share of the market. 14/7/03: It has been announced hundreds of offshore wind turbines are to be built around the coast of Britain after an 'historic' move by the Government to speed up the development of green power. Three areas of the country will be opened up to offshore wind farms which could be powering one in six households by the year 2010. Campaigners described the move as the dawn of a new clean energy era. *22*10/03: The Government gave the go-ahead for four new windfarms which will generate enough electricity to power 230,000 houses. The windfarms will be built up to four miles off the coast of Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Essex, with each site made up of 30 turbines. Energy Minister Stephen Timms said the new developments would help the Government reach its target of producing 10% of electricity from renewable sources by 2010. Windfarms could power up to one in six UK households under Government plans to boost renewable energy.The new windfarms will be built at Lynn, off the coast of Skegness; at Inner Dowsing, north of Skegness; off the coast of Cromer; and at Gunfleet Sands, off Clacton-on-Sea. *13/05/04: Cherished beauty spots are at risk from thousands of proposed new wind turbines, a new report claimed. Country Life magazine said Ramsbury in Wiltshire, Bradworthy in North Devon, Saddleworth Moor in Lancashire and Romney Marsh in Kent were among areas 'under threat' from the expansion of wind power. 20/09/04: Nearly three-quarters of the population agree that wind farms are necessary to help meet current and future energy needs in the UK, despite a vocal protest against their expansion, it is reported Monday September 20 2004. Now a campaign from the British Wind Energy Association will unite those in favour of wind farms and challenge myths that they are unpopular, noisy and a blot on the landscape.

Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Investing in cleaner, greener technologies that allow us to strike a more sustainable balance with the other living systems of this earth, this too, is a choice.

In Maryland, we are choosing to move forward with offshore wind because it holds the promise to create jobs and expand opportunity, while striking this balance for our planet.

To create jobs, a modern economy requires modern investments. Building a 200-megawatt wind farm off the coast of Maryland would create almost 850 jobs in manufacturing and construction. We would create an additional 160 permanent Maryland jobs in supply, operations, and maintenance for the turbines.

Maryland is home to one of the world's most highly skilled, highly educated workforces. Advances in wind energy technology will make our greatest asset even stronger: creating opportunities in training and skills development, while establishing a new, 21st century infrastructure at our Port of Baltimore. The nucleus of expertise that exists in our state, when combined with increased demand on electricity generated by offshore wind, will place Maryland in a prime position to bring the strength of American manufacturing back to this region. It will also attract new partnerships with European offshore wind equipment manufacturers.

The Offshore Wind Energy Act could be not only a jobs creator, but also a history maker. It represents the first policy instrument in the nation that creates a true market with manageable demand.

Offshore wind gives us the potential to both create jobs, and do the right thing for consumers. But at the heart of it all, we are laying the ground work for a better, more sustainable future for our children. Every megawatt-hour of wind we generate in Maryland is a megawatt-hour we do not generate from fossil fuels that pollute our air, and make people sick. By advancing this project, we can prevent as much as 7.5 million tons of climate change-causing pollution from being pumped into our atmosphere. Wind technology would improve the health of our families as well - it could save Maryland's economy over $17 million per year in public health costs.

One of the things that defines our ability to be a winner in the new economy is the precious consensus we are able to forge to do difficult, but important and transformational things. These things do not happen by chance. They happen because of the choices that we make together. With better choices in Maryland, we are creating jobs and expanding opportunity, while doing the right thing for consumers, for our environment, and for our long-term energy independence and our long term energy future.