Somehow there is some irony here, but I cannot articulate it.
Since the late 1960s, the North Sea has been a major source of energy in the form of hydrocarbons for several countries, chiefly the United Kingdom and Norway.On top of everything else, the oil companies can offset their profits, taxes, whatever, with those "cap-and-trade" costs. The rich get richer. Playing by Al Gore's rules.
But while some concern has been raised in recent years about how long North Sea oil can continue to support the Northern European oil and gas industry it has created, a whole new energy sector is taking off in the region where much of the experience and know-how that has been developed in the offshore oil sector is proving useful.
After the UK government announced plans in 2008 to open up the seas around Britain to enable the development of up to 33 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2020, energy utilities have shown a great deal of interest in the sector. And they have invested heavily: firstly, in order to secure offshore wind development licenses awarded by the UK's Crown Estate; and, secondly, in the equipment and components required to construct offshore wind farms.
Meanwhile, other countries connected to the North Sea are getting in on the act. Denmark – actually a pioneer of the sector, having been involved in developing offshore wind farms since the 1990s – recently, in 2009, built a wind farm at Horns Rev (in the eastern North Sea) that was briefly the biggest offshore wind farm in the world. Not far away, further south, Germany is developing offshore wind schemes off its North Sea coast.
At the link, the photos are worth a thousand words, or more.
A very random thought. The faux-environmentalists (TFE) are concerned about the rising ocean due to global warming and the disappearance of islands (hasn't happened; in fact, more islands than ever rose this past decade). TFE are worried that coastal cities like New York City will be inundated. Well, duh. The Low Countries (Netherlands, for example) dealt with this problem centuries ago; trying to keep the ocean water back from their land below sea level. And they did it with windmills and dikes. It doesn't take an Orson Welles to imagine windmills pumping water back out out to ocean as well as creating electricity. Just a random thought. Comments probably won't get posted.