Looking forward to the coming year, I see big things for wind in New York City. Offshore wind will become a $30 billion industry in the next 10 years, up from $10 billion today, according to a report by consulting firm Emerging Energy Research. Although Europe has led the way in pursuing offshore wind projects, the U.S. may begin catching up soon. This country already leads the world in wind energy production, after surpassing Germany last year. And for another indicator to show wind is on the rise, just follow the money – TheStreet.com (and a survey of its readers) foresee wind energy stocks beating out solar in the coming year.
But what does that mean for New York City? For starters, we could be part of that offshore wind boom when developers begin submitting proposals for a 350-megawatt farm off of Queens. The project will be the biggest of its kind in the U.S. once its completed. Though that likely won’t be until 2015, here’s hoping the project takes a huge step forward this year.
Some wind energy options are available now to New Yorkers. Thanks to a partnership with renewable energy developer Community Energy, ConEdison now gives its subscribers the choice of buying wind power. Unfortunately, it appears as though that power comes from wind farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, not New York, but the more people that sign up for the program the more sources the utility will need.
For the truly green, it is possible to install a small wind turbine on the roof of your building. A bulletin from the Buildings Department dated September 1, 2009 outlines the procedure for wind turbine installation (although no indication of how long the process takes). Two years ago when I talked to Richard Klein, owner of Quixotic Systems, he mentioned his interest in pursuing wind installations, and it now looks like he’s started doing so. The unique design makes these turbines perfect for cities.
There you have it – developments on the international, national and city level that could make 2010 the year for wind power in New York.