As the new director of the Wind Energy Technologies Office, I am pleased to join a superb team of professionals at DOE and our National Laboratories in working to advance the prospects of wind energy—on land, offshore, and distributed throughout the country. There are huge opportunities for wind energy, as well as challenges, and we have exciting plans for the future to address them. I am eager to get out and about and meet with many of you who are joining with us in this bold endeavor.
The catchphrase "any way the wind blows" has both literal and figurative meanings across our industry and here in WETO. For example, the industry has found cost-effective ways to capture the wind “any way it blows,” growing tremendously in the past several years in terms of capacity, deployment, and investment. In fact, the Energy Information Administration predicts that wind will surpass other sources of renewable power generation this year. United States wind power has more than tripled over the past decade and today is one of the largest sources of renewable generating capacity in the country.
Offshore wind project development continues to thrive and the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) gives us a chance to exchange valuable information on what factors make these successes possible, where we want to take things next, and making sure that, whichever way the wind blows, this healthy growth continues.
DOE's newly released publication, the 2018 Offshore Wind Technologies Market Report, states that the overall size of the U.S. offshore wind pipeline grew to 25,824 MW in 2018. Clearly, companies see potential in developing offshore wind projects.
Be sure to download two other recent publications from DOE. The 2018 Wind Technologies Market Report and the 2018 Distributed Wind Market Report provide a snapshot of the industry through the end of last year.
Energy science research and development (R&D) sponsored by WETO sparks breakthroughs in technology innovation, addresses market and deployment barriers, and drives down the cost of wind energy to deliver more efficient, more reliable, and more predictable wind energy systems. Inside this R&D newsletter, you'll find highlights of WETO's latest and greatest wind energy science research, development, and validation activities.
This edition spotlights developments in offshore wind research with articles on the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium, innovations in floating offshore wind systems, an offshore wind data portal, and the Offshore Wind Resource Characterization Workshop. In addition, you’ll find information applicable to the broader wind power community, with topics that include visualization software for wind forecasting, large rotor manufacturing, and the global market for distributed wind energy resources.
And a flurry of funding opportunities from WETO and other EERE offices is helping launch several new research initiatives. It's not too late to submit an application for $18.5 million in offshore wind R&D funding from the National Offshore Wind R&D Consortium. This year alone, the Energy Department has put millions of dollars on the table for offshore wind research.
Wind continues to pick up momentum and, any way it blows, it brings opportunity and growth to all sectors of our industry.
Robert C. Marlay, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, Wind Energy Technologies Office