There are corollaries to the two pointed lessons Newsday suggests to the Long Island Power Authority [“Blown away,” Editorial, Aug. 24] on the passing of the offshore wind project:
1. Don’t be too clever by half. There was a tactical reason for the Jones Beach siting: By choosing a public beach whose frequenters were largely middle-class from disparate locales, LIPA would avoid the deep-pocketed opposition on the private beaches of eastern Long Island, where, in fact, the winds are stronger and the power needs greater.
2. The local ratepayer cannot assume the burden of national taxpayers. What the proponents of the Long Island Offshore Wind Project were unwilling to recognize is that the offshore industry in Europe owes its existence to national commitments that pick up at least a quarter of the development costs. It is unsustainable to expect 1 percent of the country to carry the load in development of renewable energy.
The larger implication is, as the British have warned: Actual output may simply not be able to meet the goals that have been set for renewable energy. Efficiency is the low-hanging fruit, abundant and at the right price.
Editor’s note: The writer is energy director for the Town of Babylon.
30 August 2007
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