Look to solar and wind power in the future

North Carolinians, along with the rest of the nation, are annoyed by the rise in gas prices.  So, it’s hardly surprising that when they are asked about what potential energy sources the nation should rely upon in the future, solar power (85%) and wind power (80%) lead the way.

And, equally, it’s not surprising that the two nonrenewable energy sources got the lowest marks: oil, 25%, and coal, 30%. 

(Two years ago, in an Elon University Poll, three-quarters of North Carolina residents said they would support the increase of federal funds for research on wind, solar and hydrogen technology.)

One group might be cheered by that sentiment. From the Charlotte Observer last month:

North Carolina’s offshore winds, in theory, hold enough energy potential to power the whole state. In reality, no commercial turbines have gone up anywhere in Atlantic coastal waters.

Turning potential into electricity brought 300 industry members, government officials and green-energy advocates to Charlotte on Thursday for the first Southeastern Coastal Wind Conference.

The long, shallow-water N.C. coast has more wind-energy potential within 50 miles of the coastline than any other East Coast state, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated in 2010.

It is worth noting that as the state debates fracking, 70% of respondents said the state should rely on natural gas more as a future energy source.

— John Robinson

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