A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy says that America could get 20 percent of its power from wind energy in about the next 20 years.
This agency press release says it will mean increasing the amount of wind power by nearly 20 times current production levels… a doable number according to the DOE:
Entitled “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030”, the report identifies requirements to achieve this goal including reducing the cost of wind technologies, citing new transmission infrastructure, and enhancing domestic manufacturing capability. Most notably, the report identifies opportunities for 7.6 cumulative gigatons of CO2 to be avoided by 2030, saving 825 million metric tons in 2030 and every year thereafter if wind energy achieves 20 percent of the nation’s electricity mix.
DOE Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for the U.S. Department of Energy Andy Karsner said, “To dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security, clean power generation at the gigawatt-scale will be necessary, and will require us to take a comprehensive approach to scaling renewable wind power, streamlining siting and permitting processes, and expanding the domestic wind manufacturing base.”
Prepared by the U.S. Department of Energy and a broad cross section of stakeholders across industry, government, and three of DOE’s national laboratories – the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, CO; Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA; and Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, NM, the report presents an in-depth analysis of the potential for wind in the U.S. and outlines a potential scenario to boost wind electric generation from its current production of 16.8 gigawatts (GW) to 304 GW by 2030.
The report goes on to say that infrastructure will need to be improved, as well as streamlining the siting and permitting processes to meet that goal.