Relentless R&D Boosts US Wind Power Market


Published Date : Jan 29, 2016

The United States wind power industry has become extremely sophisticated thanks to years and years of dedicated research and development in this sector. A report by the US Department of Energy explores the state of clean energy technologies across the country and highlights the rapidly rising share of wind power in the US’s mix of energy sources. Of the overall new power generation capacity added in the nation between 2008 and 2014, wind power comprised a 31.0 per cent share. The number of utility scale onshore wind power production projects implemented across 39 US states by 2014 recorded a total capacity of over 65,000 megawatts, which is sufficient for catering to the electricity demands of over 16 million homes. In the first quarter of last year, there were many more projects under construction that would add a capacity of 13,000 megawatts. 

Upsurge in Wind Power Generation Capacity

Of the total electricity generated in the United States, wind power accounts for almost 4.40 per cent and the constant rise in capacity of wind power generation has resulted in numerous benefits for the nation. The country’s yearly carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by over 115 million metric tons and the annual water consumption has gone down by over 36 billion gallons. In terms of cumulative capacity of wind power generation, the US ranks second. The development of advanced turbines and taller wind towers with longer blades have also rendered wind power more efficient and cost competitive. The US Department of Energy predicts that thanks to these developments, the country’s wind power output is likely to increase by 67 per cent.

Significant Reduction in Wind Power Prices

The installation of new transmission projects, ongoing developments in technology, and funding from the Department of Energy has resulted in a considerable decline in prices of wind power over the past couple of years. The affordability of wind power can be attributed to the remarkable positioning of projects in Central America. The cost of wind power has gone down from 7 cents per kilowatt hour in 2009 to 2.4 cents per kilowatt hour in 2014.