What if Delaware could use a cost-effective renewable energy resource to reduce its dependence on coal, oil, and other fossil fuels? Some experts say such a resource — wind power — is ready to be tapped just off the Delaware coast.
Learn how at the University of Delaware’s Lunch and Lecture Series event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008, at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington. Lecturer Willett Kempton, a UD associate professor of marine policy, will explore environmental, scientific, and policy ramifications of utilizing Delaware’s wind resource.
Kempton has studied public reactions to potential offshore wind energy use and policy frameworks for utilization of the resource. His Lunch and Lecture presentation will discuss research showing how much power Delaware's offshore winds could supply.
“Over the ocean, wind is more steady and strong than over the land,” Kempton explained. “Today’s wind turbines can be placed in water depths up to 100 feet. Of course they cannot be placed in shipping lanes, bird flyways, etc. When all these factors are considered, the wind resource off Delaware would produce 5,200 megawatts, over four times the entire state’s average electrical use of 1,300 megawatts.”
Kempton said that renewable energy sources such as wind power are seen by many as keys to achieving energy independence and mitigating climate change.
“On the East Coast, offshore wind is the only renewable energy resource for which the technology is available and tested, costs are comparable to our current electricity sources, and the resource is larger than all our electricity and petroleum use combined,” he said. “This combination offers hope for addressing both climate change and foreign oil dependence.”
In addition to his work on wind energy, Kempton’s career has focused on other energy and environmental topics. He has helped develop a technology that allows vehicles that run on electricity alone to be controlled so they balance power flow to and from the regional electric grid. He is the author of numerous articles on environmental themes as well as the book “Environmental Values in American Culture.”
The event includes lunch at the award-winning Hotel du Pont, located at 11th and Market Streets in Wilmington. It is sponsored by UD’s College of Marine and Earth Studies (CMES) and the Delaware Sea Grant College Program. Tickets are $15, and advance registration is required by Friday, Feb. 15, 2008. Reserve your seat by calling 302-831-8062 or e-mailing MarineCom@udel.edu.
To learn more about the Delaware Sea Grant College Program, visit www.deseagrant.org. For more about UD’s College of Marine and Earth Studies, visit www.ocean.udel.edu.