The federal survey made by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory had placed U.S.’ wind potential at more than 10.8 million gig watt-hours. One of the supporters of the study is American Wind Energy Association chief executive Denise Bode. Bode says the wind resource in U.S. is vast and inexhaustible.
Despite this fact, wind power problems still exist. Primary concerns for wind power potential include finding technological advancements for wind turbines as well as for wind strength measurement. Market figures for wind energy sector are seen as being able to considerably improve if these issues are resolved.
It was also mentioned that wind turbines get better winds at heights of preferably 80 meters from the ground. Appropriate wind resources that are ideal for development are usually those areas that have a yearly wind speed of 6.5 meters per second at 80-meter height.
Among top states that generate wind in the U.S. include Texas, Kansas, Montana, and Nebraska. Put together, these states have a turbine generation of 4.7 million MW of potential wind power. The top ten windiest states, South and North Dakota, Wyoming, Iowa, Oklahoma and New Mexico make up 80 percent of the country’s installed wind capacity, a figure derived as of February 2010. The 10 states could generate over 30.6 million GwH of renewable electricity if given the proper wind energy materials.
Association manufacturers say the estimated generated power can only be harnessed if proper energy policies are implemented, such as a national renewable energy standard. Bode cites the benefits of a national renewable electricity standard, saying that it could not only maximize the nation’s vast wind resources, it can also generate thousands of jobs for the country.
In 2009, the United States installed an additional 10,000 MW of wind power capacity, which is enough to power 2.4 million homes. The wind industry expects wind turbine fleet in U.S. to reach 35,000 MW, powering as much as 9.7 million households.
NREL is the USA’s only federal laboratory dedicated to the research, development, commercialization and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The group’s mission and strategy are focused on advancing the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy goals. NREL’s research and development competency extends from understanding renewable resources for energy, to the conversion of the resources to renewable electricity and fuels, and ultimately to the use of renewable electricity and fuels in homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles.