Wind Could Power 20% of US Grid by 2030

Palm Springs Wind Farm

Here’s some interesting news: a new Department of Energy report claims wind turbines could generate 300 gigawatts of electricity — roughly 20% of the US electrical grid — by 2030.  There’s already a website in support of the news at  The report doesn’t necessarily predict the future of the wind industry, but it paints a picture of what a particular 20% wind scenario could mean for the nation.  The wind industry currently produces about 17 gigawatts of electricity, so we’re talking about significant growth over the next twenty-something years.  That said, wind industry growth has been fierce in recent years and is on track to meet these numbers if growth holds pace.

If you’re interested in the technical details, make sure to download the DOE 20% Wind Energy Report [pdf].

The report specifically examines costs, challenges, and key impacts of generating 20% of the nation’s electricity from wind energy by 2030.  One specific issue, that US electricity demand is expected to grow by 39% from 2005 to 2030, needs addressing.  If we can’t figure out how to use less energy, we’re not really getting anywhere …

Wind energy isn’t the "silver bullet," says the report summary, but it’s one significant element in a portfolio of energy options for our future.  To successfully address energy security and environmental concerns, the nation needs to pursue a portfolio of energy options.

Via Wired News.

Photo Credit: Keith Gillard.

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  • Samantha

    With focused, sustained investment on the part of big companies like BP, JPMorgan, and Credit Suisse, a 20% wind electricity goal by 2030 is not unreasonable. Even withouth long term tax incentives, the wind industry in America is well on its way to becoming a major player in the energy market.

    If you’d like to learn more about wind energy finance and development, you should attend the Renewable Energy Finance Forum-Wall Street (, held June 18-19 in New York City. One of the official event sessions will feature representatives from GE, JPMorgan, and NordBank in a discussion about the future of the wind energy industry, as well as the economic and policy factors fueling (and constraining) development.

  • Preston

    @Samantha – thanks for the information … I’ll plug it into the Green Events page.

  • david j phillips

    North and South Dakota, listed first and fourth, respectively, in wind energy potential, do not currently mandate any renewable standards for wind energy. Whereas, in California, 20 percent of the state’s electric sales must be procured from renewable sources by 2010.

    Care to guess which state is number 2 in wind power generation?

    Wind Energy Report Suggests Huge Untapped Midwest Market

    My Best,

    David J Phillips
    Contributing Energy Analyst

  • Preston

    @david – I agree with you and thought the report’s information on the midwest market was interesting, as you say. I’m not sure that a mandate is necessary, however, because look at Texas. They’re #1 and they have no mandate (as far as I can remember).

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