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Sunday, October 12, 2008

DOE report explains benefits to USA of increasing wind to 20% of electricity requirements

This May, 2008 DOE Report Analyzes U.S. Wind Energy Resources, Wind Power Technology Requirements, and Wind Turbine Manufacturing, Wind Farm Siting and Power Project Transmission Hurdles to Increasing the Use of Clean and Sustainable Wind Power

Department of Energy (DOE) report finds a 20% wind contribution to U.S. electricity supply would:

Reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 25 percent in 2030.

Reduce CO2 in real terms by 7.6 gigatons through 2030 and 825 million metric tons each year after that

Reduce natural gas use by 11%;

Reduce water consumption associated with electricity generation by 4 trillion gallons by 2030;

Increase annual revenues to local communities to more than $1.5 billion by 2030; and

Support roughly 500,000 jobs in the U.S., with an average of more than 150,000 workers directly employed by the wind industry.

To achieve 20%, wind turbines would have to produce 300,000 megawatts of power, compared to today's generated 16,000 megawatts.

Full story on: article on the Coming Wind Energy Boom

The analysis concludes that reaching 20 percent wind energy will require enhanced transmission infrastructure, streamlined siting and permitting regimes, improved reliability and operability of wind systems, and increased U.S. wind manufacturing capacity.

Highlights of the report include:

Annual installations need to increase more than threefold. Achieving 20 percent wind will require the number of annual turbine installations to increase from approximately 2000 in 2006 to almost 7000 in 2017.

Costs of integrating intermittent wind power into the grid are modest. 20 percent wind can be reliably integrated into the grid for less than 0.5 cents per kWh.

No material constraints currently exist. Although demand for copper, fiberglass and other raw materials will increase, achieving 20 percent wind is not limited by the availability of raw materials.

Transmission challenges need to be addressed. Issues related to siting and cost allocation of new transmission lines to access the Nation’s best wind resources will need to be resolved in order to achieve 20 percent wind.

“The report correctly highlights that greater penetration of renewable sources of energy - such as wind - into our electric grid will have to be paired with not only advanced integration technologies but also new transmission,” DOE’s Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Kevin Kolevar said. “In many cases, the most robust sources of renewable resources are located in remote areas, and if we want to be able to deliver these new clean and abundant sources of energy to population centers, we will need additional transmission.”

With the U.S. leading the world in new wind installations and having the potential to be the world leader in total wind capacity by 2010, DOE’s report comes at an important time in wind development.

Last year, U.S. cumulative wind energy capacity reached 16,818 megawatts (MW) – with more than 5,000 MW of wind installed in 2007. Wind contributed to more than 30 percent of the new U.S. generation capacity in 2007, making it the second largest source of new power generation in the nation --- surpassed only by natural gas. The U.S. wind energy industry invested approximately $9 billion in new generating capacity in 2007, and has experienced a 30 percent annual growth rate in the last 5 years.
Read more information about on DOE's Wind Program.

More windpower investing links, wind energy company stock info:

Master List of Publicly-traded Wind Energy Stocks

Bargain Green Stocks for the American recovery

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