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  • 02.16.05

How to Fix… Wind Energy

If you want to see which way the wind is blowing in alternative energy these days, check out Europe. More specifically, look five miles off the Irish coast, in the Saint Georges Channel between Ireland and England. That’s where a division of GE, led by Fast 50 winner Thomas Wagner has built a wind turbine field to demonstrate the future — and power — of renewable energy.

If you want to see which way the wind is blowing in alternative energy these days, check out Europe. More specifically, look five miles off the Irish coast, in the Saint Georges Channel between Ireland and England. That’s where a division of GE, led by Fast 50 winner Thomas Wagner has built a wind turbine field to demonstrate the future — and power — of renewable energy.

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In effect, each of the seven turbines represents the world’s biggest windmill, with a wingspan almost as wide as two 747s. They are designed to withstand corrosive salt water, shifting sand, pounding waves and muscular wind. And they can be operated remotely to maximize efficiency.

Wind power is the fastest growing energy source over the last ten years, but Europe, not the U.S., is leading the way, with more offshore fields than anywhere else. Given the concern for our dependence on foreign oil, you’d think the idea would be catching on. So here’s today’s “How to fix” project: What’s the most effective way to market or pitch offshore wind power plants in the U.S.?

About the author

Chuck Salter is a senior editor at Fast Company and a longtime award-winning feature writer for the magazine. In addition to his print, online and video stories, he performs live reported narratives at various conferences, and he edited the Fast Company anthologies Breakthrough Leadership, Hacking Hollywood, and #Unplug.

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