Friday, February 19, 2010

Offshore wind could provide all electricity Maryland needs, improve economy and environment, new study finds

Offshore wind power could provide for two-thirds of Maryland’s electricity needs using current technology and nearly twice as much as the state needs after the technology improves, a new study finds. In addition, relying on wind power would help Maryland’s economy while cutting greenhouse gases and improving air quality, says the study, which was sponsored by the Abell Foundation.

With existing offshore windpower technology, this renewable power source could provide 67% of the electricity Maryland now needs, the study says. And offshore wind could generate 179% of the state’s current electricity needs as the industry matures and deeper water techniques come into production, meaning that offshore wind could provide some electricity for inland states as well.

Development of offshore wind “appears to be the easiest and most cost‐effective way to meet Maryland’s renewable portfolio standard” – which requires generating a certain portion of its energy renewably – “with instate generation, serve increasing electric load with new generation as needed, improve on environmental goals of reducing CO2 and improving air quality, and modernize and diversify its economy,” declares the study’s executive summary.

To read a summary of the study, which was prepared by the University of Delaware's Center for Carbon-free Power Integration at its College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, go to, and to see the whole report, please go to

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