Earlier this week, the Department of Energy (DOE) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office released a report examining the potential for wind energy to generate electricity in all 50 states. Wind energy currently provides about 5% of the nation's electricity generation, and DOE believes that wind can be deployed at higher levels once the next generation of larger, taller turbines in development hits the market. The report describes the current state of wind technology and details future technology pathways for technical innovation, while recognizing that addressing environmental, economic, and human use considerations are necessary in order to realize the nation's full wind power potential and value. Several federal agencies already have activities underway to support efforts to enable wind power nationwide, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)'s lighting guidelines for wind turbines and DOE's Funding Opportunity Announcements targeting research and development solutions for taller towers and larger rotors.
The DOE report "Enabling Wind Power Nationwide" can be found here. The report was released in conjunction with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz's appearance at the annual conference of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) in Orlando, Florida.
"Wind generation has more than tripled in the United States in just six years, exceeding 4.5 percent of total generation, and we are focused on expanding its clean power potential to every state in the country," said Secretary Moniz. "By producing the next generation of larger and more efficient wind turbines, we can create thousands of new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as we fully unlock wind power as a critical national resource."