Virginia is one of a few states that would benefit greatly from implementing offshore wind project, according to a recent report commissioned by Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2). The report demonstrates the potential for immense economic benefits from the offshore wind industry and examines the impacts it would have on various states. According to E2, if each of the five target states (New York, New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) built a moderately-sized offshore wind installation, the aggregate result would be an additional 25,000 jobs and a $3.6-billion boost to the states’ economies. Again, this is from a single moderately-sized project in each state.
The report refines its findings by state, and the results are no less impressive. In Virginia alone, a single offshore wind project has the potential to create 4,377 construction and operation jobs and $641 million in economic benefits. The Virginia government also would receive an estimated $18.86 million in tax revenue. Even more simplified, the report suggests that for every $1 spent on offshore wind in Virginia, $1.73 would be generated.
To further demonstrate its point, the E2 report examined the financial risks associated with the offshore oil industry. In the event of an oil spill off the coast of Virginia, there would be $90 million in lost wages, and a $175-million loss in state income. Beyond that, offshore land leased for drilling oil and gas or building pipelines to transport them threatens natural resources and simply doesn’t make economic sense. That land could and should be used to develop offshore wind projects instead.
The economics of the offshore wind industry are clear, and Virginia could benefit greatly from it. The choice between investing in offshore drilling and offshore wind should be obvious, even simply from the perspective of dollars and cents.
Virginia needs to make the right choice for where to invest its money, otherwise it may miss out on an incredible opportunity for economic growth and job creation.
Click here for the full report.