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US already among world leaders in wind power

The offshore wind industry is in its infancy in the United States, but the United States already already has installed enough land-based wind farms to power 19 million homes.

And the U.S. Department of Energy says wind will supply 10 percent of the country’s electricity by 2020, 20 percent by 2030 and 35 percent by 2050.

 A typical wind turbine has more than 8,000 components, and those pieces are manufactured in 500 plants in 43 U.S. states, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Learn what that might mean for Massachusetts, which will be the home of the first industrial-scale offshore wind farm in the USW. Read New Bedford Wind Energy Center Director Paul Vigeant’s take on the future of wind here.

Americans of all persuasions turning to renewable energy

The tide is turning in the United States on the subject of climate change, with significant majorities of both Democratic and Republican parties favoring limits on carbon dioxide pollution, establishing carbon taxes to reduce the federal income tax, and supporting research into renewable  sources of energy

In a report issued in March 2016, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that 70 percent of Americans believe that climate change is occurring — an increase of 7 percentage points from the year before.

The issue is most important to Democrats. Climate Wire says that liberals see climate change as more important than “race relations, gun control, terrorism and Supreme Court nominations.”

But Republicans also have come around, with 48 percent now saying they believe climate change is real, up from 28 percent two years ago. That said, it’s a back-burner issue for the GOP while the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president, Donald Trump, has said “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

While nearly two out of five people in the world have never even heard of climate change, despite having witnessed its effects, three out of four Americans believe the public schools should be teaching about it.

While registered voters are more likely to support a candidate who favors taking actions against climate change, conservative Republicans say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports such action.