Potential for offshore wind is best where population is largely focused – along the East Coast. States such as Delaware, Massachusetts and North Carolina could generate enough electricity from offshore wind to equal current electricity generation, entirely eliminating the need for fossil fuel based electric generation.
New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina could supply 92%, 83% and 64% of their current electricity generation with offshore wind, respectively. In all these states, wind could provide more energy than the states currently get from fossil fuels.
Top 10 states for offshore wind potential
1. Delaware: With investments in offshore wind power, Delaware could generate more electricity than it now produces from all other sources. Delaware’s waters have enough wind to power 137 percent of its current electricity generation, which could save the state $274 million each year.
2. Massachusetts: Harnessing offshore wind potential in Massachusetts waters could eliminate the need for fossil fuels to meet the state’s electricity needs. With investments in offshore wind, Massachusetts could generate 130 percent of its current electricity generation while saving the state $2.1 billion each year.
3. North Carolina: North Carolina ranks first among Atlantic states for offshore wind power potential. Switching from fossil fuels to offshore wind for its electricity needs could save the state $2.6 billion each year.
4. New Jersey: New Jersey has the third highest wind power potential among Atlantic coastal states. With investments in offshore wind power, the state could generate 92 percent of its electricity from offshore wind, which could eliminate its need for fossil fuels to meet electricity demand.
5. Virginia: Virginia could meet at least 83 percent of its current electricity generation, eliminating the need for all the state’s fossil fuel power plants, and saving ratepayers nearly $1.9 billion each year.
6. South Carolina: With investments in offshore wind power, South Carolina could meet 64 percent of its current electricity generation, eliminate all its fossil fuel power plants, and save nearly $1.4 billion each year.
7. Rhode Island: Though Rhode Island has limited offshore areas, its offshore wind could still provide enough energy to supply power to at least half of the homes in the state.
8. Maryland: Maryland could generate more than a third of its electricity from offshore wind power, enough to meet the current electricity generation of all the homes in the state.
9. Florida: Florida consumes more oil for electricity generation than any other state in the country. Offshore wind power could supply enough energy to more than replace all petroleum use in Florida’s electric industry.
10. New York: New York has the second highest petroleum-related electricity costs on the East Coast. Offshore wind could more than replace all of New York’s petroleum-based electricity generation.