Offshore Wind Energy: The Emerging Renewable Technology

I choose offshore wind (OSW) as the topic for my third Post because I believe it to be the most important emerging renewable electricity technology.  Having devoted my USG career to assisting the development and early deployment of many other renewable energy technologies I say this for a number of reasons, including the vast size of the potential resource.  My thoughts are summarized in the attached presentation made to utility executives at the Electric Power  2012 Conference (Offshore Wind-global progress), updating a talk on that subject  I presented a year earlier at Electric Power 2011.  Significant progress occurred in that year and the technology continues to advance rapidly.

As an introduction I will quote only a few parts of the 2012 presentation below, to hopefully whet your appetites on a topic that needs and deserves  increased visibility.  I am also pleased to note that the Wind and Water Power Program at DOE has made OSW a major focus of its activities.  The US, while lagging behind other countries in OSW deployment (we have no full size turbines in the water at present while the UK is leading the world in deployment)), DOE is funding activities that will lead to deployments in the US Atlantic coastal region in the next few years.

“Why Offshore Wind?

– Offshore Wind has the potential, when widely deployed, to address two critical issues facing the nation

            1, the need for new electrical energy sources that are
                 ▪indigenous to the U.S.
             2. –the need to stimulate the economy and create new jobs”
“How Big is the Resource?–
  •     o OSW is a large, broadly distributed,  U.S. energy resource
                   – thirty U.S. states border an ocean or Great Lake
                   – NREL-estimated gross resource at 90m hub height out to 50 nautical miles
                       ▪wind speeds > 7 m/s:  ~3,000 GW
                       ▪wind speeds > 8 m/s:  ~4,000 GW
                   – current U.S. installed generating capacity:  ~1,000 GW

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