Emulating Europe: Setting a Course for Offshore Renewable Energy - NR&E | Spring 2011
After a nine-year battle between local, state, and federal regulators against private interests and Native American tribes who claimed to be affected by the development, Cape Wind gained approval by the U.S. Department of the Interior to become the first U.S. offshore wind farm. The approval process for Cape Wind is starkly contrasted with the experience of similar wind farms in the European Union, where more than 830 turbines in thirty-nine wind farms currently generate more than 2,000 megawatts of electricity. These contrasting examples show how far behind the United States has fallen in comparison to Europe with respect to renewable energy. This article aims to discuss various methods by which the United States can catch up.