Wind can produce 20 pct US electricity by 2030-DOE

Posted on May 13, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

(Reuters) – In a report gauging the feasibility of wind power, the Energy Department found that wind energy could meet 20 percent of America’s electricity needs by increasing the annual number of turbine installations from 2,000 in 2006 to almost 7,000 in 2017.

…the same share of electricity now generated by nuclear power plants, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Monday.

Boosting America’s use of wind energy to 20 percent by 2030 would save 825 million tonnes of emissions annually that help cause global warming, the department said. Link

Key Conclusions of DOE Wind Energy Report

  • Annual installations need to increase by only a factor of three from current levelsby 2018.
  • Costs of integrating intermittent wind power into the grid are modest. 20 percent wind can be reliably integrated into the grid for less than 0.5 cents per kWh.
  • No material constraints currently exist. Although demand for copper, fiberglass and other raw materials will increase, achieving 20 percent wind is not limited by the availability of raw materials.
  • This would require 300,000 MW of wind, delivering electricity for about 6 to 8.5 cents per kilowatt hour, unsubsidized (i.e. no federal tax credit) and including the cost of transmission to access existing power lines within 500 miles of wind resource [new nuclear is currently about 15 cents/kwh.
  • The 20% Wind Scenario could require an incremental investment of as little as $43 billion NPV [net present value] more than the base-case no new Wind Scenario. This would represent less than 0.06 cent (6 one-hundredths of 1 cent) per kilowatt-hour of total generation by 2030, or roughly 50 cents per month per household.
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