There are now more than 45,000 wind turbines in operation in the U.S., and the installed capacity continues to grow quickly. The wind energy industry is, however, experiencing logistical issues that impact the bottom line and wind energy deployment.
Although policy uncertainty continues to plague the renewable energy industry, overcoming transportation issues are a tangible way to help bolster wind energy growth by lowering costs and reducing delays.
In the case of wind turbines, bigger is better from a financial, energy production and sustainability standpoint. A recent study found that the energy to produce, transport, maintain and dispose of larger turbines isn't that much more than a smaller turbine, but the energy production is much greater. The trend towards larger components isn't likely to change, so the challenge is catering to it.
"As the current crop of drivers grows older, there are fewer people choosing the profession," states a recent article in North American Windpower. The average age of heavy cargo drivers in 2004 was 50, according to Professional Logistics Group. With long hours and extensive time away from home, trucking companies are having trouble attracting qualified drivers to fill this void.
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Sarah Lozanova is a regular contributor to environmental and energy publications and websites, including Mother Earth Living, Green Builder, Home Power, and Urban Farm. Her experience includes work with small-scale solar energy installations and utility-scale wind farms. She earned an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School and she resides in Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage in Midcoast Maine with her husband and two children.
Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable & Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.