As the plane swooped low over the Potomac in our final descent, we joked of being
a modern day George Washington though in an airplane, not a wooden
dingy. In some respects though, revolution was in the air. It’s not
the British keeping us in restraint this time around, but rather the
belief that traditional energy sources are the only way forward.
An alternative path could be found at this years Global Marine
Renewable Energy Conference where I had the privilege of presenting
modeling and simulation work I had been developing over the last six
months. The conference included researchers and industry
representatives from all over the world. Meeting others outside of
your typical day to day experience, who share your interest and
passion for getting the marine energy business off the ground,
affords you the chance to gain some valuable perspective. From
scientists and engineers, to ecologists and policy advisers, to
developers and regulators, there was an eclectic mix of individuals
all focused on the same overarching goal: how do we take this
industry to the next level?
My contribution was to present my research in the hopes of expanding
everyone’s knowledge. And the reverse was also true. I was able to
tap into other people’s ideas adding to and expanding my knowledge of
the industry. I was able to see the problems regulators and
developers face, and how those problems might be resolved. I saw
turbine developers and research engineers battling it out over the
validity of results. At the end of the day, everyone was able to
learn something from each other and move the industry forward.
When the conference ended for the night we hopped on bikes and
cruised around the sprawling metropolis of our nation’s capital. The
Air and Space Museum, National Gallery, and Library of Congress all
afforded incredible opportunities to marvel at what we as a people
are capable of accomplishing. This capability gives me great hope for
the marine energy industry, as we take it to the next level.