A Mighty Wind is Pushing U.S. Renewable Energy Success
The United States is expected to be home to an anticipated 49,000 MW of installed wind-power capacity by 2015, making it the world's largest wind-power producer, according to a recent report. Developers are expected to invest more than $65 billion between 2007 and 2015 in wind-power facilities, researchers say.
The United States is expected to be home to an anticipated 49,000 MW of installed wind-power capacity by 2015, making it the world’s largest wind-power producer, according to a recent report. Developers are expected to invest more than $65 billion between 2007 and 2015 in wind-power facilities, researchers say.
The report by Cambridge, Mass.-based Emerging Energy Research (EER) estimates the current wind-energy project pipeline at 125 GW of potential capacity at various stages of development. Researchers anticipate U.S. installed capacity in 2015 will total 19% of the global wind market.
EER expects 7,650 MW of new capacity to come online in 2007 and 2008, though transmission bottlenecks are projected to slow development between 2009 and 2011. The group believes these issues will be addressed by 2011, and growth could resume at rates as high as 5 GW per year by 2015. Texas is anticipated to account for 23% of capacity growth by 2015, with the combined total for California, Minnesota, New York, Colorado and Washington reaching an approximated 30% of total market growth.
In other wind power news, the American Wind Energy Assn. (AWEA) recently released the results from their Small Wind Turbine Global Market Study, reporting that high up—front costs are preventing small wind systems from reaching their growth potential. The small wind industry has been experiencing annual growth in the range of 14% to 25% since 1985. AWEA says that increased federal incentives could double the growth rate.
In late July, in anticipation of a pivotally important vote when energy legislation was to reach the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, the AWEA launched a major media campaign including television advertising targeted to encourage the support of 11 key House members for a national renewable electricity standard (RES). An RES (also referred to as a renewable portfolio standard) is a market-based mechanism that calls for a set percentage of the nation’s electricity to be produced from renewable sources, such as wind and solar.
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