Headline news for the past few months has been filled with oil, BP and the phrase “has to be a better way.” Those in the renewable energy sector hope that one positive can come of these events: energy reform. The window of opportunity is wide open to composites manufacturers.
Strong ocean breezes offer one of the best options for generating power from wind. Not to mention the fact that in the U.S. alone, the largest concentration of people is located within the northeast corridor. In other words, people tend to cluster along coastlines. “Approximately 55 million people live, work and burn through high energy bills, all while untapped potential lies nearby,” says Jim Stover, vice president of global marketing and product management at renewable energy firm Northern Power Systems.
Yet people still argue that building an offshore turbine and anchoring it to the seafloor is time consuming and expensive. As a result, so far wind power has been restricted to shallow waters, leaving behind shallow or empty promises. The U.S. has a goal of generating 20 percent of the nation’s electricity from wind energy by the year 2030. This includes not only land turbines but offshore ones as well. Currently the U.S. has several proposed offshore projects, mostly within the Northeast, but zero installed. “While a global agreement addressing climate change is a tremendous challenge, we hope more individuals will begin to recognize the value of acting locally. Also, hopefully more countries will understand the competitive advantage of developing more advanced renewable energy technologies,” says Stover.