Small Wind: An Evolution or Revolution?

Inventors all around the world are developing new wind turbine technologies, hoping they can break into the market and “revolutionize” the industry. Some of them are creating entirely new designs or making interesting improvements on existing designs; many of them make claims about performance they can’t back up. But they all have an impact on this still-fragmented market.

In this podcast, we’ll look at the evolving landscape for small wind technologies in the U.S. and around the world.

We’ll speak with Dan Parker and his team about a new technology they’re developing, called the Spiral Air Foil Turbine. We’ll talk about his design, the expensive testing and certification process, and why his team is similar to others in garages and machine shops around the country.

Then, we’ll talk to Ron Stimmel, the small wind advocate for the American Wind Energy Association, about where these inventors fit into the broader small-wind landscape. While there may be a lot of work being done on new designs, the traditional three-bladed horizontal-axis turbine continues to dominate 99% of the small-wind market.

Finally, we’ll move from small wind to really, really big wind. Katie Roek, an attorney with Stoel Rives, discusses the likely differences in how the Europeans and Americans develop offshore wind – once the U.S. actually gets a project in the water.

Inside Renewable Energy is a weekly audio news program featuring stories and interviews on all the latest developments in the renewable energy industries.

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I am a reporter with ClimateProgress.org, a blog published by the Center for American Progress. I am former editor and producer for RenewableEnergyWorld.com, where I contributed stories and hosted the Inside Renewable Energy Podcast. Keep in touch through twitter! My profile name is: Stphn_Lacey

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