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Answer may be blowing in the wind

When you think about wind energy, the development of the offshore resource is very important. Offshore, the resource is larger, the wind is more consistent, consistently blows harder. It's also very near population centers.

Livermore Lab partners with a lot of companies in renewable energy and renewable energy resources. For wind, we have a number of partnerships and SWAY is one of those. It's a mutually beneficial partnership. We know a fair amount about characterizing resources and they know a lot about designing and engineering these platforms and so it was a natural partnership.

Most of the development currently is in what we consider to be shallow water. So, SWAY is developing an offshore platform that will work in deep water. If you think about the coast of California, the shelf drops off very quickly. There's not a large shallow bay that goes out for miles, it drops off rather quickly when you're in deep, rough water right away.

So, a platform needs to be engineered that can withstand those conditions. And when you think of offshore, the capacity factor or the amount of time that the wind blows or energy is available is higher than onshore. And offshore development probably has less impact on people than most onshore developments. And offshore development probably has less impact on people than most onshore developments.

What Livermore researchers are doing is working very hard at characterizing the resources both offshore and onshore to identify the areas where the most potential exists. So, if you can identify those, when you do put up a turbine, you'll get the most energy out of it.

Renewable energy is something I am especially committed to and bringing in the staff to work on these projects and the national lab is a place where they can make a difference and so instead of going to a company where it's all about specific product and signing a contract, they can come here where they can work in large teams of people to attack larger problems and really make a big difference.