Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Notes from the Field: Wind Power

by Robert Malin
Leadership is about understanding the long term consequences of an action and building a consensus around it. Good leadership is when you get it right. If we are to seriously address Climate Change, we need to have all options represented.

The Solutions Project has offered a template that could achieve 100% Renewables by 2050 and the bulk of it comes from Off Shore wind and Solar but there may be opportunities for Community owned wind projects in an appropriate site, like West Warwick's wind towers in Coventry. However, I am concerned that if we do not have an ordinance at all, other Towns would be redisent to work with us. We should use a model like Holland, a compact country,  where they have lived with wind power for 20+ years safely, and adopt modern standards so we can address climate change by reducing our carbon footprint.

In 2011, while the Charlestown Citizen Alliance was busy banning wind power (and then writing a highly restrictive ordinance which effectively stopped development), I was testifying against their Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) allies who opposed all wind technology including the Deepwater Wind project.

The landmark off-shore wind farm is currently in the headlines, putting RI on the map as the US leader in this important green energy technology.

Yesterday, there was a conference in Warwick by the American Wind Energy Association. "We have recognized that the opportunity is vast," said Zayas, director of the DOE's Wind and Water Power Technologies Office."

The headline of the Charlestown Press reads "Business leaders, elected officials tour Block Island Wind Farm" where Catherine Bowes senior manager for climate energy at the National Wildlife Federation spoke of the project in glowing terms.

If the CCA-types had had their way this project would have been stopped too

Now, more than ever, it is critical that we move to renewables as soon as possible: "...recent data that has been collected but has yet to be made official indicates sea levels could rise by roughly 3 meters or 9 feet by 2050-2060, far higher and quicker than current projections. Until now most projections have warned of sea level rise of up to 4 feet by 2100."

It's time for us to get it right. As I have said many times out in the field, If elected I pledge to lead the way to a renewable future.