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What is 'offshore wind?' This high-tech energy source could help Americans save money

"Expanding offshore wind energy is good for taxpayers' driving, for their wallet, for the air that they breathe."

Offshore wind

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Exciting new research from the Center for American Progress found that offshore wind is over 125 times better for American taxpayers than dirty energy sources like oil and gas.

The nonpartisan research institute found that offshore wind farms — that is, wind turbines set up in deep waters to harness the force of winds at sea, transform it into electricity, and supply it to the power grid — create 12,500% more revenue per acre of land leased when compared with higher-polluting alternatives.

Because the waters over which these wind farms are built are publicly-owned, taxpayers financially benefit when they are leased. For each acre, winning bids come in at around $5,900.

One of the report's contributors, Jennifer Rowland-Shea, the Center's Director of Public Lands, explained that this huge amount of money is likely to increase because the American offshore wind industry is still young and developing.

The report also mentioned that offshore wind is quite efficient at producing electricity. Each acre of offshore wind creates enough electricity to drive an electric car 65 times further than a standard car could from an acre of crude oil. 

Besides the benefits to taxpayers, offshore wind can be a source of clean energy used to limit the overheating of our planet. As wind power doesn't require the burning of dirty energy sources, like methane gas, coal, or oil, to create electricity, it can help keep our air clean and, in the longterm, reduce the worsening of extreme weather events like hurricanes

The report's author, Michael Freeman, suggested that this combination of benefits should inspire the creation of many more of these wind farms.

"Expanding offshore wind energy is good for [American taxpayers'] driving, for their wallet, for the air that they breathe," he told Grist.

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