The Winds of Change


UC Santa Barbara experts weigh in on the effects of offshore wind energy

In late May the Biden administration reached a decision to open two parts of the California coast to offshore wind energy: a 399-square-mile area off Morro Bay and another location off Humboldt County. Although breaking ground — or making waves in this case — may be a decade away, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has opened up the Humboldt and Morro Bay projects to public comment until September 13, 2021.

At the global level, every effort to decarbonize is a boon for wildlife and the ecosystems they depend on. However, projects like wind farms and solar plants can impact their local environment. A commitment to sustainability involves looking at these concerns so they can be addressed in design and implementation.

Researchers at UC Santa Barbara with expertise ranging from energy systems and policy analysis to ornithology and marine life offer their take on how offshore wind capacity fits into the country’s energy portfolio, as well as the effect it may have on humans and wildlife.

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