Americans Installing More Wind Turbines Near Homes, Businesses

August 12, 2013

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Looks like folks in flyover country aren’t buying anti-wind BS.

Instead they’re buying turbines, and have been for a decade.  Despite the steady stream of WindBagger disinfo – no sign yet of an explosion of headaches and herpes in the heartland.

Green Building Elements:

Localized, distributed wind energy is becoming increasingly common in the US, according to a new report from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The report makes it clear that it’s becoming increasingly common for Americans to simply install wind turbines directly on — or very close to — their homes, farms, or businesses, for the purpose of generating their own energy.

The new report — The 2012 Market Report on Wind Technologies in Distributed Applications— is essentially the first comprehensive analysis of distributed wind energy development in the US. “Distributed wind energy” refers to wind energy that is generated relatively close to where it’s used — as opposed to large, centralized wind farms, which, in many ways, function similarly to conventional centralized fossil fuel power plants.

“The public often pictures large wind projects with long rows of turbines when they think of wind power,” stated lead author of the new report, Alice Orrell, an energy analyst at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. “But this report provides detailed data that shows this image is incomplete. Many of the nation’s turbines are for distributed, not centralized, wind projects.”

Rewire:

According to new reports from the U.S. Department of Energy, the nation’s wind power sector is growing faster than ever before. Wind power was the United States’ single largest source of new electrical generating capacity installed in 2012, and nearly three quarters of wind turbine parts installed that year were made domestically.

According to the new data, 43 percent of all new U.S. electrical power generation built in 2012 consisted of wind turbines, adding up to 13 gigawatts of new generating capacity, a doubling over 2011’s figures.

Texas leads the nation in wind power with 12 gigawatts of wind capacity, more than twice what we have here in California. Iowa, South Dakota, and Kansas derive more than a fifth of their power consumption from wind.

“The tremendous growth in the U.S. wind industry over the past few years underscores the importance of consistent policy that ensures America remains a leader in clean energy innovation,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in a press release.

2 Responses to “Americans Installing More Wind Turbines Near Homes, Businesses”

  1. Nick Carter Says:

    It’s fun to watch the National Wind Technology Center near the foothills west of Denver. That’s where they test new windmill designs. Fantastic work on turbulence patterns and siting of windmills to maximize efficiency. Interesting to see how distributed is now a model. What’s also really neat is that just to the north sits the stately NCAR headquarters. The brain power and innovative spirit is amazing out here. When I hike in Boulder’s Chautauqua Park, I hear some fascinating conversations.

  2. Sir Charles Says:

    Wind near-cost competitive with fossil fuels, says US Department of Energy

    “The latest data on US wind power provides some extraordinary statistics. During 2012 about 13 gigawatts of new capacity was installed, almost twice the UK’s total wind power. This provided about 43% of the net additions to US generating plant. Most strikingly, the Department of Energy study suggested that US wind farms are supplying power to the various regional grids at an average of $ 40 (£27) a MWh. This is broadly competitive with the cheapest gas-fired generation in the US and little more than half the current price of UK electricity. Lastly, and perhaps most interestingly from the UK perspective, the DoE study suggests that the cost to the grids of integrating wind power is less than $12 (£8) a MWh. This is a tenth of the estimated costs suggested by the Global Warming Policy Foundation last year. It’s no surprise that the DoE’s authoritative and carefully researched work isn’t currently featured on the GWPF website.”

    So, despite the shale gas boom in the US, “the latest data shows that the cost of onshore wind power in the US is now very roughly at the same level as gas generation.”

    Well. US shale gas will soon peak. What will remain and still deliver clean energy are the wind turbines. Believe me.


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