10 Lovely Links

Should the United States government specifically fund the construction of an offshore wind farm?

Green energy may be all the rage but what steps are Americans willing to take in order to develop the renewable resource of offshore wind power? Recent funding by the U.S. Department of Energy seems to suggest a push toward government support of America’s first offshore wind farm. However, decisive action has yet to be taken. My issue is whether or not that move needs to be made and, if so, who should make it.

1. Not only is this the journalistic article that started me down my particular research path, but it’s also a great resource for learning more about the plan for an Oregon wind farm. In addition, the illustrations that accompany the article serve as helpful visual aids that give a sense to readers how an offshore wind turbine works and where they may be built in Oregon.

For my final paper, I plan to use this article as resource in describing the Northwest’s involvement with offshore wind. It will also serve as a way to introduce many of the stakeholders I ended up interviewing including the Tillamook PUD and Principle Power. For my essay, I also plan on doing a bit of a summary on how Northwest news sources are currently following this topic. Since this article, how much focus has The Oregonian put on this topic? Why?

2. This link goes to the homepage of the Cape Wind project. Although the bulk of my research, including my interviews, has been a bit closer to home, this site provides information that helps forecast the future of American offshore wind farms. The Cape Wind project in particular has received much media attention being the American project furthest along in terms of planning.

This site is an institutional one seeing as proponents of the Cape Wind project manage it. As such, I will need to provide context on where any specific information I use comes from.

3. The European Patent Office (EPO) provides rich background information on how and why the wind turbine movement started. This will provide context to my essay on why this issue matters. Plus, the EPO includes European countries such as Denmark and the United Kingdom that have high levels of energy production from offshore wind farms. This will be helpful in detailing the  global picture of what other countries are currently doing about offshore wind. The EPO is not directly related to the business success of any green energy company, which makes this source more scientific than institutional.

4. The European green energy company Blue H built the first floating turbine prototype, a piece of technology key in developing wind energy off the Pacific Coast of the United States. Information from this site also widens the picture on how companies such as Principle Power, the main character in the Northwest branch of this story, fit in to the ocean wind dynamic. A question this site might help me answer is whether or not American wind farms, if kick-started by the federal government, will need to rely on non-American technology.

5. Principle Power has been one of the main characters in my story to date mainly because of the company’s Northwest involvement. This company’s website, though obviously presenting the best information available about Principle Power, also provides update press releases that give a sense of the current movement in offshore wind turbines. I’ve also conducted two interviews with Principle Power employees, including the CEO. In forming my essay, I plan on drawing on these interviews and, as such, will need the background information this source provides.

6. Unlike some of my other sources, the following three links connect to a journalistic source that provides a more negative view of offshore development. These entries on a Wall Street Journal blog by Keith Johnson address the concerns, especially financially, of building ocean wind farms. From these three, I get a sense of the most common cons listed when it comes to developing ocean wind as a renewable energy resource. Also, these posts are beneficial in providing an example of how another journalist blogs about the topic.

Blog Post #1

Blog Post #2

Blog Post #3

7. The Department of Energy (DOE) webpage features a number of resources I’ve already cited in my work and plan on doing again in my final essay. For example, the DOE site features two press releases that announce the most recent waves of funding provided for offshore wind farms. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, both rounds of funding directly benefited Principle Power. Beside this information, the DOE has a separate website of information that directly addresses the benefits and negatives of developing wind power.

8. During my most recent research I came upon a local energy management and renewable energy program taught at Lane Community College. Such programs are also being developed in community colleges in Tillamook County in preparation for the development of an offshore wind farm. Information such as this will add yet another side to my essay for two reasons. First, such programs demonstrate the job creation possible with offshore wind farms. Second, it is telling that multiple locations are putting time, money, and personnel into these programs although, as is the case in Tillamook, an actual green energy business has yet to be developed.

9. This article from January 2009 announces the conclusions of a study conducted by the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change to research how the impact of offshore wind turbines on marine life. I’ve also included the link to the actual study, which provides scientific research on yet another aspect of the debate swirling around offshore wind turbines. The first link, being a journalistic source, provides me with context on why this issue is important and how it might impact the status quo.

10. This last link is to another blog that follows this topic and is written by Chris Madison, an employee of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). The blog, which is called “Into the Wind,” is the official blog of the AWEA. This is important because it gives the content ties to a specific institution that, needless to say, is “pro-wind.” As such, the author tends to take a certain stance in reporting the most recent political and financial developments concerning American offshore wind farms. However, the blog is still very helpful as it provides current information on new moves in the industry and how they affect stakeholders.

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