5 Fascinating Facts on Offshore Wind

Offshore wind energy is in its infancy -- but it's gonna grow fast.

Jun 1, 2014 at 10:40AM


Source: BOEM.gov. 

1. Offshore wind leases are well under way.
If you didn't know the U.S. government included a "Bureau of Energy Management," you wouldn't be the only one. But this entity has been leasing off our ocean since 2009. The auction-based bidding system ensures low prices for a rather risky investment, paving the way for offshore wind possibilities where they otherwise might not exist. Dominion Resources (NYSE:D) has been an especially active bidder, and it just received $47 million in government funding to pilot a 12 MW offshore wind project.

2. Location, location, location
While putting our power production out to sea may seem like a silly idea, it's actually one of the best spots around. Any wind blowing faster than 7 meters per second is ripe for generation, making almost all the United States' coastline capable of production. And with more than 70% of our nation's electricity consumption coming from our 28 coastal states, energy generation can be close to the action. 

Offshore Wind Map

Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 

3. Uncle Sam wants to cut costs
In the last 20 years, wind energy costs have plummeted 85%. But that's still not enough to make it competitive with most other energies. There's a reason Dominion Resources isn't investing in wind on its own, and the U.S. government knows this energy needs more support to grow.

While the Natural Resources Defense Council notes that, as of 2010, "top performing wind farms in areas with excellent wind resources, making wind the cost competitive source of non-hydroelectric renewable electricity," the U.S. Department of Energy wants to cut offshore wind costs an additional 63% by 2020. If they're successful, wind might be able to win on its own. 

4. Europe is winning on offshore wind
While the states are still sizing up offshore opportunity, Europe embraced this renewable energy sources years ago. The European Commission's 2008 "Communication on Offshore Wind Energy" noted that "offshore wind can and must make a substantial contribution to meeting the EU's energy policy objectives." 

According to the European Wind Energy Association, the continent had already installed 5,000 MW of offshore wind, accounting for 10% of its total wind installations, and estimates put total offshore wind capacity at seven times Europe's total electricity demand. 

Looking ahead, the E.U. isn't slowing down. It's set a goal of installing 40,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020, and a massive 150,000 MW just 10 years later. 

5. India's in on it, too 
Offshore wind isn't just for developed countries. As one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India knows its energy demands require a multi-faceted approach.

The national government is putting power behind offshore wind opportunities and has already identified a section of coastline with 1,000 MW of potential. The country is considering a 10-year "tax holiday" to get offshore wind on its feet, with additional tax breaks for studies and equipment imports. 

The tipping point
Offshore wind is well off the radar of most energy investors, but there are plenty of stable companies making a pre-emptive push. Grabbing a dividend stock like Dominion Resources can award you earnings today with major growth potential tomorrow.

Diversify your dividend stocks
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks like Dominion Resources, simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Justin Loiseau has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Dominion Resources. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information