Saturday, October 25, 2008
This report by the U.S. Department of Energy identifies the challenges, possible solutions, and probable impacts of meeting the goal of producing 20 % of U.S. energy from wind by the year 2030. The Report assumes that electricity demand will grow by 39% from 2005 to 2030. To meet 20% of that demand, U.S. wind power would have generate more than 300 gigawatts (GW) or more than 300,000 megawatts (MW). The Report identifies key geographic locations in the U.S. both off-shore and land based. The disbursed geographic locations would require investment in new electrical distribution capability. Benefits would include a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 825 million metric tons compared with other energy sources, each megawatt-hour generated by wind could save as much as 600 gallons of water which would be lost to fossil fuel plant cooling, and the added intangible benefit of greater energy independence.