A nearly yearlong effort by the state to figure out the benefits and drawbacks of offshore, energy-producing wind farms is leaving some environmental groups less than blown away.
Library from New Jersey
Offshore wind turbines may not provide substantial benefits to the state's environment and could come with some risks, a report by released today states.
November 30, 2005, 8:39 PM EST TRENTON, N.J. -- A panel appointed to determine if New Jersey should build energy-generating wind turbines off the coast has released an interim report that _ while it draws no conclusions _ has been criticized by some environmentalists as giving short shrift to wind energy benefits.
November 29, 2005 Newark, New Jersey [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] New Jersey already has the most generous solar incentives in the nation, and if new policies are adopted to the state's broad requirements, solar and all renewable energy technologies will stand to gain greatly over the next decade and beyond.
"Offshore wind power development has potential to generate a series of quantifiable environmental benefits. These benefits appear significant in both absolute and monetized terms, but are arguably marginal relative to the scale of existing energy production and emissions affecting New Jersey's environmental and natural resources. Offshore wind power development also presents a series of potential environmental costs. In the absence of a developed literature, the scale of many of these costs are not readily quantified or monetized, making the nature of these impacts highly uncertain and necessitating additional research." (page 70)
New Jersey Audubon Society (NJAS) and its 20,000 members generally support environmentally-responsible renewable energy sources, such as wind power, photovoltaic cells, geothermal and hydro-fuel cells. Because traditional energy sources contribute to global climate change, habitat change and degradation, smog pollution, mercury contamination in our waterways, and radioactive waste, NJAS recognizes the importance of developing emission-free sources of energy. However, we are concerned about the potential impacts of these developing technologies on wildlife, and natural habitats.
This case, before the New Jersey Superior Court, represents one of the first instances of a nuisance case brought against an operating wind turbine due to noise. The court found that the defendants' wind turbine constituted an "actionable nuisance".