Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wave and Wind Power for Coastal Facilties

Not sure why a former Army guy is so interested in getting his feet wet, but West Point grad John Miller is championing a cause that with proper funding, could give the US a big advantage in wave and offshore wind power R&D. (Note: we're far behind Europe at this point).

As the DOD works to identify solutions to the DSB Energy Task Force's recommendation to reduce bases' dependence on the fragile national grid, wave and offshore wind could play a significant role, especially for Navy and Coast Guard installations. John is one of a handful of folks in the US with the foresight and stamina to get the early stage work off the ground, and is proposing to stand up the National Offshore Renewable Energy Innovation Zone between Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket and waters to the south.

This region has the perfect mixture of environments to test every type of wave and offshore wind power technology, including lower and higher power wave zones, as well as shallow and deep water wind zones, all in a surprisingly compact area. Key benefits of this approach include:
  • Reduced R&D costs and risks
  • Faster/easier path to market for wave and near shore-wind tech co's
  • National training site for renewable energy engineers and technicians
You can learn more about John's work here, but it's also worth checking out in person: it's a beautiful area, and I'm sure he'd be a great host.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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