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150 gigawatts of wind power by 2020 August 17, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Wind Power.

A recent report from Emerging Energy Research says that, given current trends in the rate we are building wind plants in the US, we could be generating 150 gigawatts of wind power by 2020.

By comparison, the average coal plant generates 800 megawatts of power.   That means that if the report is true, by 2020, wind could do the work of 180 coal-fired generating plants.

There’s a lot of ifs between now and then.  You’ve read my posts on the problems with siting.  In most cases, where the power is needed (cities) is not good for wind-based power plants, and there is always some loss in transmission.  Then there’s the loss of the energy tax credits, which makes the cost of construction that much more expensive.

And then there are the production delays over at General Electric.  According to EcoGeek, the backlog is up to two years for the generation turbines.  (Note that these are the large turbine blades, with a spinning diameter larger than the wingspan of a 747.

To make the EER report valid, GE’s 40% growth in the rate of production has to continue (not likely sustainable).  But we will see.



1. 150 gigawatts of wind power by 2020 - August 17, 2008

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