Georgia poised to develop more sustainable energy

By Maria Saporta

Alternative, renewal energy sources appear to be gaining steam in Georgia.

At Friday morning’s Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable, a panel focused on the environmental issues facing the Georgia coast.

In his presentation, Tybee Island City Councilman Paul Wolff talked about a wind energy study that was done by Georgia Tech and Georgia Power.

“We could generate half of our energy needs with wind ultimately,” Wolff told the group.

Wolff showed photo illustrations of how the wind turbines would look off the coast of Tybee, showing that would be barely visible. He also showed photos of nuclear and power plants for comparison’s sake, asking the crowd what vista they would prefer.

Specifically, Wolff said that a total of 160 turbines off the coast each producing 5 megawatts would generate 800 megawatts of power.

“That would be enough to power more than 500,000 homes in Georgia,” Wolff said.

Wolff also said that one can’t separate the state’s water plan from the state’s energy plan because the two are inter-connected. He then described nuclear and coal plans as being “gluttonous” when it comes to the use of water.

Meanwhile, the Georgia Solar Energy Association applauded a move by the Public Service Commission this week to expand Georgia Power’s green energy program to include more solar.

Our next guest columnist — John Sibley — will be writing a piece for us this coming week on the development of the solar industry in Georgia.

So stay tuned.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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