SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • offshore wind power;
  • greenhouse gas

[1] We develop methods for assessing offshore wind resources, using a model of the vertical structure of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) over water and a wind-electric technology analysis linking turbine and tower limitations to bathymetry and continental shelf geology. These methods are tested by matching the winds of the Middle-Atlantic Bight (MAB) to energy demand in the adjacent states (Massachusetts through North Carolina, U.S.A.). We find that the MAB wind resource can produce 330 GW average electrical power, a resource exceeding the region's current summed demand for 73 GW of electricity, 29 GW of light vehicle fuels (now gasoline), and 83 GW of building fuels (now distillate fuel oil and natural gas). Supplying these end-uses with MAB wind power would reduce by 68% the region's CO2 emissions, and reduce by 57% its greenhouse gas forcing. These percentages are in the range of the global reductions needed to stabilize climate.