BP continues to make headlines for its abysmal failure in containing the oil spill that is wreaking havoc on Louisiana’s coastline, leading some to call for a stop to offshore oil projects. But Jad Mouawad in the NYT’s Week in Review (The Spill Vs A Need To Drill) interestingly writes, “whatever the magnitude of the spill…it is unlikely to seriously impede offshore drilling in the Gulf.” We need energy and oil is a big part of that need.
Alternatives like wind will not replace oil overnight, if ever; add that to the fact that the U.S. is slow to embrace alternatives like wind – note the battle over Cape Wind, the plan for windmills in Nantucket Sound (see piece in NYT). Some are big believers. I wrote a piece on one-time billionaire Jack Manning who five years ago began the big push to get wind credits because he believed windfarms would be ubiquitous. Though he caught an initial gust of support — in a report from the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. led the world in wind power installations and had a record year last year, by installing over 10,000 MW — so far, for the first quarter of 2010, the US installed 539 MW of new wind capacity, the lowest value since 2007.
The fight over power generation is being fought worldwide. Author Megha Bahree starts off our guest writer series this month with her look at what is going on in one section of India where billionaires are battling locals.