Oil giant quits tar sands, embraces offshore wind instead

alberta tar sands mining photo
CC BY-SA 2.0 sbamueller

The trouble with divesting from fossil fuels, say critics, is that other, less scrupulous investors will just jump in and snap up your investment to make a profit. And that's why, alongside divesting from 'the bad stuff', we also need to encourage increased investment in 'the good stuff'—like offshore wind, for example.

So this story—reported by Cleantechnica—is about perfectly designed to make my little TreeHugging heart sing: Norwegian oil and energy giant Statoil has spent the end of 2016 selling off its assets in Canadian tar sands, and securing rights to develop a gigantic offshore wind farm off the coast of New York State. According to The Motley Fool, the company bid $42.47 million for the lease in 79,350 acres of water, and expects to eventually build turbines with a capacity of 1GW there. (The initial construction plans will most likely be closer to the 400-600MW range.

Still, given that the US only just got its first offshore wind farm, this is an encouraging sign that energy giants see a future for offshore wind in the United States, no matter which way the current electoral winds are blowing (sorry!).

True, critics will note that Statoil is still involved in an awful lot of dirty energy production and exploration. Still, this is exactly the type of divest-invest move from a major energy player which could bring about a major shift in the economics of energy markets. And once that shift happens, there will be little that can be done to stop it.

Tags: Oceans | Oil | Tar Sands | Wind Power

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK

treehugger slideshows