According to figures in a series of papers released this week by the Department of Energy (DOE), land-centred wind energy accounted for 42 percent of new power generation capacity in the United States last year, more than any other source. Solar, on the other hand, accounted for only 38 percent of new output last year. The capacity of This metric measure, which is the greatest amount of power that can be generated under perfect conditions, even though actual electricity production can be substantially lower due to wind variability.
While wind capacity and electricity production vary by region, the land-based wind is currently a reliable, intermittent energy source throughout the United States. According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the Department of Energy, the United States added a historic 16,836 megawatts of the new utility-scale land-centred wind generating capacity to its energy infrastructure in the year 2020, reflecting a $24.6 billion investment in new wind power.
Wind power was able to contribute over half of the in-state energy production and purchases in a few states last year, according to the DOE. Iowa was first in the pack, with wind power accounting for 57% of the state’s electrical generation. Iowa, on the other hand, has a number of wind turbines but a little population.
During the fall and spring nights, as well as the winter season, the wind is more commonly employed to create electricity for the electric power business. (During the summer, wind energy can be seen throughout the Gulf Coast of Texas in the late afternoons or early evenings.) Last year’s increase in land-centred wind energy in the United States was fuelled in part by production tax credits which are set to expire soon, spurring expansion ahead of that deadline.
Improvements in wind technology have also aided land-based wind growth. The latest wind turbines have taller towers with the longer blades than prior versions, allowing them to produce more power by reaching higher winds. In addition to land-centred wind farms, plenty of offshore wind projects are in the works in the United States. However, most offshore wind farms in the United States were still not operating last year.
Instead, the DOE’s 2021 Offshore Wind Market Report concentrates on the “pipeline” of offshore projects. According to the report, the offshore pipeline “increased to a potential producing capacity of about 35,324 megawatts (MW) in 2020,” a 24 percent increase from the previous year.
The Block Island Wind Farm, off the coast of Rhode Island, as well as Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Pilot Project, off the coast of Virginia Beach, are the country’s first two offshore wind farms. Vineyard Wind 1, located south of Nantucket, Massachusetts, has secured all necessary licenses and has signed contracts to sell and supply power to the grid.