US DOE unveils wind forecast by 2050 (United States)

16 Mar 2015

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Wind and Water Power Technologies Office has unveiled a new report, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, highlighting the importance of wind power in the US energy portfolio. It indicates that wind can be a viable source of renewable electricity in all 50 states by 2050. It draws three scenarios: In the Baseline scenario, wind capacity would remain at its 2013 level of 61 GW. In the Business-as-Usual Scenario, that models wind deployment under policy conditions current on 1 January 2014, wind power generation could reach 7% of the end-use electricity demand by 2020, 10% by 2030 (twice is current level) and 25% by 2050. In the Wind Vision Study scenario, wind capacity could reach 113 GW by 2020, 224 GW by 2030 and 4040 GW by 2050, resulting in 12.3 Gt of avoided greenhouse gas emissions (ie 35% of end-use energy demand). In this scenario the key actions are identified to help achieve the 35% of end-use electricity demand include:
- Reducing wind power costs: Reducing the cost of wind energy will primarily be influenced by continued cost improvements and advancements in overarching wind energy technologies.
- Expanding the developable areas for wind power: This includes expanding wind power to new areas, such as the southeastern United States, as well as the installation of new transmission lines to high quality wind resource locations.
- Deploying wind in ways that increase its value for the nation: This includes the use of domestically manufactured components for all phases of wind project development and considering the impact of wind energy growth on surrounding communities, the environment, wildlife and the general public.

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