For the past thirty years, Bonnie Ram has contributed to the clean energy transformations in the US, Europe and China, collaborating with local, national, regional, and international organizations.
Ram’s valuable experiences translate consistently to results because of her applied experiences, extensive professional network as well as a deep knowledge of the scientific literature. In the wind and solar energy areas, her environmental science background combined with local stakeholder engagement strategies has led to innovative approaches in a range of technical areas, including effective federal and state permitting, citizen participation strategies, curriculum development, and economic development opportunities.
Bonnie Ram led the cutting-edge program demonstrating offshore wind and ocean energy supporting the clean energy efforts of the Department of Energy Office of Wind Technologies and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Her leadership during the project provided technical support for gigawatt-scale wind deployments, ocean technologies, and marine and hydrokinetic devices. Throughout the project Bonnie provided compliance and documentation for environmental risk assessment, permits, and siting strategies, while emphasizing the importance of stakeholder engagement and interagency collaborations. It was during this time that Bonnie led the first Wind Vision Report: 20% by 2030.
As a leading mind in wind energy in the U.S., Bonnie’s professional expertise was requested abroad, where she lead a comparative case study of Denmark and the Delmarva region, focusing on public involvement for offshore wind projects. While there, she worked extensively with the Danish Strategic Research (østerild), primarily focusing on the application of turbine lights, radar controls, and public engagement.
In her persistence to spread knowledge, she hosted an all-day symposium on her findings that accelerating the renewable energy transition requires new interdisciplinary training for engineers in the social sciences. Upon returning home, Bonnie had the honor of sharing her research from abroad as a guest lecturer at the University of Delaware.
The benefits of wind energy can become lost on the public and stakeholders due to lack of communication and information about the technology. Recognizing this, Bonnie successfully lobbies to change the modes of communication with the communities impacted.
The positive result of the changes can be seen through her work in the largely coal-reliant state of Delaware. The engagement and education of the community informed the citizens of the positive environmental, fiscal, and health benefits of wind energy. A much more robust citizen involvement process is essential for well considered decisions on offshore wind and any other clean energy investments--large, lasting changes are made by many, not few.
VIDEO: Delaware Considers Offshore Wind Farms Investment
WRDE Coast-TV Media Clip
Just as important as scientific know-how and community engagement is creating an effective method of strategic analysis and market research.
With her many achievements and experiences in the field of wind energy, Bonnie succeeded in completing a comprehensive analysis on North American wind manufacturing. Given her vast knowledge on the subject, she has provided consultation for the University of Maryland to find grant collaborators in support of offshore wind resources, a large part of which was to aid in translating the complexities wind energy functionality for policy makers. She has also lead successful strategic marketing strategies on offshore wind for Kearns and West as well as a German economic development agency focusing on wind and solar power.
Senior Researcher and Associate Director
Guest Senior Researcher at the Danish Technical University