In U.S., From Ocean to Desert, A Rush to Stake Out Wind, Solar Claims

Two news reports highlight the growing awareness among American entrepreneurs that renewable energy is on the verge of going mainstream. In its “Environmental Capital” blog, The Wall Street Journal reports that a consortium of commercial fishermen — a group long opposed to offshore wind farms as hindrances to navigation — is vying to develop a major wind power project in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New Jersey. The group, Fishermen’s Energy of New Jersey, is made up of leading commercial fishermen and dock operators and is competing with four other companies to develop the wind farms. The state of New Jersey will decide in August which group to back and will award it $19 million in grants.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Union Tribune reports a veritable gold rush in the Southern California desert, with business people and speculators filing 130 proposals to develop more than 1 million acres of desert with solar, wind, and geothermal power arrays. Southern California, with its abundant sun, is poised to become a renewable energy mecca, but environmentalists are concerned that the projects, if not well designed, could cause significant damage to the desert.