Tallahassee Journal

Top wind energy stocks for renewables investors

Top wind energy stocks for renewables investors

Solar power appears to be hitting some technological hurdles, if the slowing rate of innovation in that industry is any indication. This apparent slowdown could well afford the wind sector the ideal opportunity to gain some momentum in the renewables space, spread further across the United States while also attracting more investment.

EPA GERMANY WIND ENERGY ENV ENERGY & RESOURCES ALTERNATIVE ENERGY DEU HACurrently wind power is generating roughly 5% of the overall power for the country as a whole, and considerably more than that in the Midwest where a lot of wind farms are concentrated. States like Minnesota, Kansas, and Iowa are generating 15 to 30% of their power from wind. Even with current technology, larger states like Texas and California are nearing 10% of their energy generation from wind. Wind power has fully become a mainstream source of electricity, and should no longer be considered a fringe energy source. But several new innovations in the area have the potential to make wind energy even more viable across the country as a whole.

First, the Energy Department sees a new generation of wind turbines coming that will be 100-200 feet taller than current commercial wind turbines. New wind turbines could reach to a height of 460 feet which, in turn, would allow wind farms to take advantage of faster wind speeds that occur at higher elevations. With wind power already present in 39 states, the new turbines could potentially open up a further 20% of the country to economic wind generation, essentially making wind power viable nationwide. Second, there is a new type of wind generation equipment that is starting to pick up support. Vortex Bladeless is a start-up wind energy company which aims to upset the traditional wind generation model with a new type of turbine that has no blades and no moving parts of any sort.

The new wind “turbines,” if they can still be called that, look a little like giant straws and they generate power through oscillation of the structure. The new turbines can be spaced together more closely since they lack blades, and the absence of moving parts leads to less wear and tear over time which should lower costs. It would also get around the criticism of traditional turbines as a threat to birds. The company is starting to raise funding, and it’s quite possible that the new turbines could be a common site in a few years.