Harnessing Wind Across the Country
Is wind energy possible in every state? According to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, with new developments in wind turbines, the answer is a definitive yes.
Enabling Wind Power Nationwide, a report highlighting how the next generation of larger wind turbines can make wind energy deployment possible in all 50 states, was recently unveilied by Moniz at the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference.
New Wind Turbine Technology
The new report highlights how technical advancements, such as taller wind turbine towers of 110 and 140 meters and larger rotors, can help to harness wind energy in regions with limited current wind infrastructure - such as the Southeast. These new regions represent an additional 700,000 square miles—or about one-fifth of the United States— of additional wind potential.
The taller towers can capture the stronger and more consistent wind resources typically found at greater heights above ground level, compared with the average 80 meter wind turbine towers installed in 39 states today.
"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."
Increasing the amount of land suited to commercial wind development, wind power can also provide local economic development opportunities, including jobs for installers, engineers and other support personnel..