Letter: Wind farms — why we must move ahead with them

Posted 12/7/23

We only have seven years left. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources set a goal to depend on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. The global climate has already warmed above one degree …

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Letter: Wind farms — why we must move ahead with them

Posted

We only have seven years left. The Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources set a goal to depend on 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. The global climate has already warmed above one degree Celsius, and to reach the nationwide goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees, we need more change. This change to protect and preserve the environment starts with renewable energy. While some may see using renewable energy as a progressive idea, it is not dangerous and has been well thought out. Wind farms off the coast of Rhode Island will not leave residents swimming in uncharted waters. We need to stop relying on fossil fuels to give ourselves a future. The construction of the proposed nine projects is Rhode Island and Little Compton’s best option for sourcing green energy. 

Members of the Green Oceans Group who oppose the project stand behind strong beliefs that wind farms will cause more harm than good. We are desperate for environmentally and economically sustainable power sources, and wind farms are the answer. The planning, construction, and maintenance of the windmills will create thousands of job opportunities. These structures will be a priority once the state becomes dependent on them and will serve as a source of work indefinitely. Additionally, every conceivable barrier to the success of this project has been considered, from technological advances to the impact on markets and investors. The companies and state want the project to succeed and have ensured that any challenges that may arise can be solved. Currently, 54 percent of the state’s electricity comes from fossil fuels, meaning $4 billion is heading out of state annually. Implementing the wind farms would mean that money stays local, a significant economic benefit for those worried about where their dollars go. They will be keeping the ocean state afloat financially.  

Environmental concerns surrounding the potential 1,400 square miles of windmills are also causing hesitation among community members. They wonder if the construction will hurt the ocean and climate more than it will be beneficial in the long term. Naturally, environmentalists worry about the possible harsh environment the foreign structures create, but what they need to prioritize is reducing climate change. Studies conducted on the existing Block Island wind farms show that higher populations of fish live among the farms compared to other areas. This proves that ecosystems among the windmills are thriving. Residents who are anti-windfarm can take the environmental harm factors off the table. 

Despite reservations and what the advocates for “Keep it Wild” believe, wind farms are the best solution to the climate crisis and the region’s need for renewable energy. Claims that we will still be using some fossil fuels or that humans are destroying the ocean are not reason enough to halt progress toward a more sustainable society. Humans already harm the sea, and oil companies will continue to suck our planet’s resources dry unless we find an alternative. We need wind farms.  

Lauren Flowers

Little Compton

 

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