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.