Forging into New Markets
As an urban planner coming to UGE for an internship I was purely focused on learning how to incorporate VAWTs into existing built environments. In school, urban planners preach the negatives of sprawl and benefits of mixed use, so why were the most aesthetically pleasing small turbines not popping up everywhere like solar panels? With a quick Google search you can learn it has to do with policy, public acceptance and certification. These barriers are catching up to the market demand, but slowly. I used to imagine the built environment as what we see them here in America: cities, suburbs and farm land. It wasn’t until coming to UGE that I was introduced to other global markets that I had previously not thought of: the telecoms industry and microgrids.
UGE has already entered the telecom game with installations for Verizon, Claro and the Chinese Navy. This is a very large market that has an immense amount of potential as access to energy and the internet are some of the most impactful tools for poverty relief; not to mention the cost savings of using renewable energy vs. diesel generators. Though this could be considered out of the boundaries of the built environment, none the less, it still is an integral part of modern and advancing built environments worldwide. Microgrids on the other hand are part of the ‘harder to reach fruit.’ They require much more collaboration and dedication compared to projects UGE is currently involved in. Though the microgrid market is barely beginning to emerge there is enormous potential here as well. With a majority of the world’s population without or with unreliable electricity microgrids offer an appealing alternative.
This, at least, is my two cents of where I see large markets that I had not imagined before arriving at UGE. Market research shows the small wind industry is bound to grow in all aspects, including telecoms and microgrids. I am eager to see how these two markets play out and who will emerge as the pioneers and leaders.
-Josh Cortez, Business Development