Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States

The Department of Energy recently released a report documenting the current state of the utility-scale wind power industry in the US, and envisioning a scenario in which wind energy could supply 10% of national end-use electricity demand by 2020, 20% by 2030, and 35% by 2050. The total cumulative wind power capacity by 2050 in the Study Scenario was 404 GW, which included 80 GW of offshore capacity. The report concludes that this level of deployment is both viable and economically compelling, with the Study Scenario resulting in $149 billion (3%) lower cumulative electric system expenditures, a 14% reduction in cumulative GHG emissions (12.3 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalents), and 23% lower water consumption for the electric power sector. Realizing these levels of deployment, however, would depend upon both immediate and long-term actions, including the addition of needed transmission capacity, and supporting and enhancing siting and permitting activities.

The report resulted from the DOE’s collaboration with over 250 experts from industry, electric power system operators, environmental stewardship organizations, state and federal governmental agencies, research institutions and laboratories, and siting and permitting stakeholder groups. It can be accessed here

About Heidi Alsbrooks

Heidi Lestyan Alsbrooks is a project manager and lead technical analyst for ANTARES. Her experience includes resource assessments, performance evaluation, visualization studies and economic analyses. She specializes in wind energy, renewable energy policy, and GIS-based resource modeling.

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