New Study Reveals U.S. has potential for 3x More Wind Power
Raw estimates of the amount of potential wind power available in the United States
have more than tripled, to 37 million gigawatt-hours. This is astoundingly much more than the amount of energy consumed by Americans annually, currently at about three million gigawatt-hours. The estimate comes from an analysis published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and AWS Truewind, showing more than a threefold increase in available wind resources over the last such study. The last estimate pegged available wind energy
at only about 10.8 million gigawatt-hours. Still, the Department of Energy thought highly enough of the previous figure to proclaim in 2008 that the U.S. electrical grid could be 20% wind-powered by 2030
Since wind turbines are now being designed for better efficiency, the new study shows that recent technology is built with a better understanding of wind behavior as well as an increased capacity for capturing the wind. The upside: these new developments open up new areas of the country for potential wind generation. The study also comes with highly accurate maps to aid wind-farmers in pinpointing optimal turbine locations.