Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Wind Power Could Become Nation's Largest Source of Energy by 2050 With Deployment in All 50 States

Business
Wind Power Could Become Nation's Largest Source of Energy by 2050 With Deployment in All 50 States

Wind power could become even more prevalent in the U.S. than previously expected, according to a new report released last week from the Department of Energy (DOE), Enabling Wind Power Nationwide. The new report, which was announced at the American Wind Energy Association’s WINDPOWER Conference in Orlando, Florida, finds that there is wind power potential in nearly the entire U.S., even in places that were previously thought to have insufficient wind to generate electricity.

Thanks to next-generation wind turbines, there is wind power potential in nearly all of the U.S., including regions thought to be poor sources of wind power such as the Southeast. Photo credit: Department of Energy

According to the report, the U.S. has the ability to "unlock the vast potential for wind energy deployment in all 50 states" because of next-generation wind turbines. These taller turbines with longer blades, which are currently under development by the DOE and its private industry partners will be able to capture the wind more effectively at higher altitudes where the wind is usually stronger and more constant, says the report.

There's potential to "unlock wind resources in regions with limited wind deployment today, such as the Southeast," says the report. "These new regions represent an additional 700,000 square miles—or about one-fifth of the U.S.—bringing the total area of technical wind potential to 1.8 million square miles."

The DOE has already helped the wind industry install nearly 66 gigawatts of wind power capacity—enough to power more than 17 million homes—and has helped decrease the cost of wind energy by more than 90 percent. Photo credit: DOE

Wind energy installation has skyrocketed in recent years. Wind and solar provided all of the new generating capacity in April, and, along with some geothermal and hydropower, these renewables provided 84 percent of the 1,900 MW of new U.S. electrical generating capacity placed into service during the first third of 2015.

"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 Energy Secretary Ernest 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."

Currently, wind energy produces less than 5 percent of all electricity, but by mid century, it could become the country's largest source of power. Photo credit: Department of Energy

The DOE says these advanced wind energy systems "will generate more electricity per dollar invested and further drive down the cost of wind energy." Currently, wind energy produces less than 5 percent of all electricity, but by mid century, it could become the country's largest source of power, according to an earlier report from the DOE this spring. The report found that wind power could generate 35 percent of U.S. electricity by 2050.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Wind and Solar Provide 100% of New Generating Capacity in April

Giant Solar Floating Farm Could Produce 8,000 Tons of Vegetables Annually

Which Country Will Be First to Go Completely Underwater Due to Climate Change?

Plastic pollution lines a Singapore beach. Vaidehi Shah/ CC BY 2.0

By Tara Lohan

Our plastic pollution problem has reached new heights and new depths.

Scientists have found bits of plastic on the seafloor, thousands of feet below the ocean's surface. Plastic debris has also washed ashore on remote islands; traveled to the top of pristine mountains; and been found inside the bodies of whales, turtles, seabirds and people, too.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A large loggerhead with other injuries washed ashore during the latest cold-stunning event and was treated at New England Aquarium. New England Aquarium

Hundreds of endangered sea turtles were stranded on beaches after suffering "cold stunning" in the waters off Cape Cod, Mass. Local rescuers and wildlife rehabilitators stabilized the turtles at the New England Aquarium (NEAQ) and National Marine Life Center and began treatment. Many of the sea turtles were transported by land or air to partner facilities around the Eastern Seaboard for longer-term care to make room for more incoming, cold-stunned animals.

Read More Show Less

Trending

On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn will be so closely aligned that they will appear as a "double planet." NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory / YouTube

The night sky has a special treat in store for stargazers this winter solstice.

Read More Show Less
Rough handling can result in birds becoming injured before slaughter. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals

By Dena Jones

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was sued three times this past summer for shirking its responsibility to protect birds from egregious welfare violations and safeguard workers at slaughterhouses from injuries and the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
A view of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during Arctic Bird Fest on June 25, 2019. Lisa Hupp / USFWS

By Julia Conley

Conservation campaigners on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of taking a "wrecking ball" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as the White House announced plans to move ahead with the sale of drilling leases in the 19 million-acre coastal preserve, despite widespread, bipartisan opposition to oil and gas extraction there.

Read More Show Less