10 May 2010

New State-by-State Wind Power Data Helps Build a Green Grid

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New wind resource maps and wind potential tables for the lower 48 states were recently released by AWS Truewind in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This new data marks the first state-by-state comprehensive update of wind energy potential since 1993. Accurate information about the wind resources available in each state will help keep the momentum in wind energy development going strong in 2010. If state and federal policies need valid evidence of wind potential to promote this clean energy source, then that data has arrived.

We know that wind power is an inexhaustible source of energy that can play a large part in creating a sustainable future, but there are real-life factors that keep this resource grounded. Transmission and storage of the generated energy requires a modern power infrastructure that is expensive and controversial. Additionally, developers need a stable policy environment if they are expected to commit to long-term projects with tremendous up-front costs. But no wind-power skeptic can spend a few days in Texas and claim that wind is not a viable solution to our future energy woes — just check the new map.

At the 80-meter height, the estimated wind energy potential of available development sites yield 10,459GW (gigawatts) of installed capacity. The new estimates are available on the AWS Truewind website and the NREL website. The current installed wind capacity in the US is 35GW and 158GW world-wide. In 2009, the U.S. wind industry added about 10GW of new capacity, enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes.

(ENN - Environmental News Network)

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