Experts Discuss Offshore Wind, State's Energy Future

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“To not believe in climate change at this point is ludicrous,” said Patrick Hossay, a professor of sustainability at Stockton University. “You can choose to not believe in gravity, but if you jump off of a building…you’re going to die.”

Plenty of ideas are out in the open regarding the changing climate around the world.

But when it comes to New Jersey, environmental experts have one solution to suggest.

“We know that a big piece of our emissions in this state, approximately 25 to 30 percent, are coming from the energy sector,” said Dan Fatton, executive director for NJ Work Environment Council.

This is where the experts say “it’s time for turbines,” claiming that offshore wind could play a part in creating energy while reducing pollution.

We know that a big piece of our emissions in this state, approximately 25 to 30 percent, are coming from the energy sector.

“We want to improve our energy efficiency and reduce our energy consumption,” said Fatton. “But offshore wind has to be a big component of our renewable energy portfolio.”

“It generates electricity into the foreseeable future, without any raw material input, without any pollution, without any air harm, without any harm to the soil,” said Hossay.

On Wednesday, August 16th, at the ACUA’s wind farm, experts agreed this could be the way of the future, with the Jersey shore as an ideal spot to install turbines.

“This morning in our panel, we heard that a thousand megawatts of offshore wind could power up to 500,000 homes,” said Fatton. “So we’re talking about big numbers of residents in the state who could be powering from clean energy, both in South Jersey and North Jersey.”

Fatton says not only would this change to our energy grid help the environment, but it could bring labor and economic opportunity.

“We have some of the best educated workforce, we have workers that are ready to go to work,” said Fatton. “Both, creating the turbines, putting them up, but creating the components, and creating a real supply chain in our state for off shore wind.”

The experts in attendance agreed the time to act to capitalize on off-shore wind energy and prevent climate change is now.

“Oh, we’re getting more hot days? We adjust,” said Hossay. “We’re getting more severe storms? We adjust. We’re getting more beach erosion? We adjust. But pretty soon, what we’re adjusting to is absolutely unacceptable.”

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