The U.S. continues to lead the world in wind energy, ranking second in installed capacity, according to two reports released recently by the Department of Energy. The wind market in the United States remains strong due to increasing wind energy generation of decreasing wind technology prices, driving the U.S. closer to doubling wind power generation once again by 2020, the reports predict.
In an era of high energy costs, developments in wind technology have made wind energy among the most affordable and desirable forms of renewable energy. In fact, Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) expects cumulative capacity of wind power to more than double by 2020.
The IRS is expected to provide further guidance on the PTC, which may help increase the percentage of projects with long-term power sale agreements. But congressional action is needed to continue the incentive for private investment in new wind farms to avoid a downturn in development such as the one that occurred last year because of uncertainty up until the last-minute extension on Jan. 2, 2013.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched the Distributed Wind Turbine Competitiveness Improvement Project (CIP) to help the U.S. wind industry develop competitive, high-performance technologies needed to compete in the global distributed wind market and lower the levelized cost of energy so it can compete with retail electricity rates.
Despite the slowdown, wind currently powers nearly 3 percent of the world and is expected to grow over the next several years-- delivering 7.3 percent of the electricity consumed worldwide by 2018.
The U.K. government has taken steps to reduce the country's carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050, compared with 1990 levels, according to a report by research and consulting firm GlobalData. At the same time, the U.K. is striving to meet its EU target of 15 percent renewable energy consumption by 2020.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., is celebrating the commercial operation of the Steele Flats Wind Energy Center in Nebraska, which is capable of generating 74.8 MW of wind power.
Instead of regularly utilizing hydro-generated power to serve day-to-day needs, SVP has access to as much as 200 MW of wind energy. Using that power when it is available allows SVP to preserve water levels at its hydroelectric reservoirs for use when electricity demand spikes during heat waves.
The Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA) has entered into a partnership with the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) that will enable the organizations to strengthen their representation of the small and community wind industries in the United States. The two associations will collaborate on building the distributed and community wind markets nationally, as well as coordinating on federal and state policy initiatives.
While growth rates in wind power in the developed world have plateaued or fallen, developing economies are expected to see robust growth in the coming years, Navigant Research predicts. Historically, regions like Africa and Russia have not been mainstream wind power markets, but with strong political support, expected rising electricity demand from rapid economic growth, and demand for energy diversification, the outlook for wind power development is positive.