Going Green had the chance to sit down with Ned McMahon, CEO of Primo Wind.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background:
I studied engineering but never worked formally as an engineer. I built houses, boats, and more working mainly in composites. Then in 2006 I started a urethane foam company using non-toxic plant based chemistry. I ended up getting fired from that company and I started Primo Wind. I have had an interest in renewable energy since high school and finally had a chance to do it.
What is a fun fact about you?
I rescued someone from a shark attack.
What was your motivation to get into this industry?
As a lifelong sailor and knowing how Bernouli and Venturi are used to make a boat go I thought those principles could be used to make small wind more efficient.
Why do you think climate change/sustainability is such an important topic today?
Climate change is real and some places are already feeling the effects. Whether its a low lying island in Louisiana or up in the Arctic that are succumbing to sea level rise or just the multi-million dollar homes along the beach in Del Mar that have the sea coming in the living room on extreme tides its an issue we need to deal with now. Sea level rise is just one aspect, there are many issues from ocean acidification and weather to simply finite resources for an ever expanding population. If we don’t start working toward something meaningful now it could be too late soon. But I’m an optimist and I believe we will come up with solutions.
What do you envision your industry looking like 10 years from now?
Renewable energy is critical for the future and will continue to grow. I don’t think we will see the electric car revolution many think is coming and we have to be careful of unintended consequences. The oil companies won’t simply roll over but we do need to get some point of price parity to select the best technology for the job. I also believe nuclear energy is in our future. It can be done clean and safe and this doesn’t mean weapons but new nuclear energy is needed.
What can the average person do to make a difference?
Like a leaky faucet every little bit adds up to something significant over time.
What positive changes are you seeing?
This is tough because the rate of acceleration of some of these issues may be going faster than we can deal with them at the moment
Thank you Ned for stopping by!
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