Advancements in Wind Energy: Progress Update

Image by Mikel Martinez De Osaba from Getty Images

DOE’s Wind Energy Initiatives Show Remarkable Growth and Promise

Time flies when you work in the field of wind energy. In 2023, the Wind Energy Technologies Office (WETO) of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made significant progress and has exciting news to share.

Recently, the final event of the 10th annual Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) took place in Boulder, Colorado, where Kansas State University emerged as the top prize winner. Thirteen teams participated in the finals, and you can find detailed information about the winners in last week’s announcement, including the first, second, and third-place winners, as well as the winners of the individual contests.

The CWC plays a crucial role in cultivating technical talent to tackle the challenges associated with the anticipated rapid expansion of wind energy. By providing a platform for students to showcase their skills, this competition contributes to shaping the future workforce of the wind energy industry. The engineers, researchers, analysts, economists, communicators, and other professionals who emerge from these collegiate programs bring diverse perspectives and fresh ideas, exactly what the industry needs to propel our nation towards a carbon-free future.

In the earlier part of the spring, DOE announced the winners of the first phase of the Floating Offshore Wind ReadINess (FLOWIN) Prize. This competition is aimed at supporting and expanding the floating offshore wind energy industry by addressing manufacturing and logistics gaps. Open to floating wind platform designers, fabricators, and developers, FLOWIN has three phases and aims to achieve a 70% reduction in the cost of floating offshore wind and the deployment of 15 gigawatts by 2035.

Congratulations are in order for the nine winners of Phase One, who focused on analyzing the critical challenges related to manufacturing and supply chain in the commercialization of floating offshore wind technologies. For a comprehensive list of the winning teams, you can refer to the official FLOWIN announcement.

Meanwhile, at WETO, we are eagerly anticipating the implementation of DOE’s strategy to advance offshore wind, collaborating with colleagues from various departments. Our collective goal is to support the nationwide effort of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy by 2030, and ultimately setting the path to install 110 gigawatts or more by 2050.

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