November 17, 2015
The United States invented utility-scale wind farms. Although other countries like China and Germany have more installed wind capacity, America produces more wind energy at the grid than any other nation because our turbines are more productive.
Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has introduced the V136, a new turbine engineered for high performance at low wind speed. It produces 10% more energy annually than its predecessor, the V126, and it’s quieter. Efficient operation at low-wind sites is a major goal for the wind industry because it opens up new frontiers for installing wind power.
According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the wholesale cost of wind energy is now just 2.35 cents per kilowatt hour, cheaper than the average price of wholesale fossil fuel electricity in many parts of the United States.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta recently broke ground on a 310-megawatt wind farm some 300 miles north of the capital city of Nairobi. The farm, which will consist of 365 turbines when fully completed in mid-2017, will be the largest in Africa. It is expected to provide around 17 percent of Kenya’s power demand.
Cuba plans to build 13 wind farms toward its goal of having 24% of its power come from renewable energy sources by 2030. At present, renewables account for slightly more than 4% of the island’s generated electricity. Cuba already has four wind parks in various locations with a combined capacity of 12 MW.
Technological advancement and falling costs for renewable energy have made such companies such as BMW, General Motors, IKEA, Dow Chemical, Facebook, Nissan, Heineken, Google, Amazon, LEGO, Honda, Microsoft and Apple turn increasingly to wind and solar energy to power their facilities.
The U.S. added 23,000 wind energy-related jobs in 2014, bringing the industry’s total number of jobs to 73,000.
The U.S. added 23,000 wind energy-related jobs in 2014, bringing the industry’s total number of jobs to 73,000. Most wind turbine components installed in the United States are made in America. There are more than 500 manufacturing facilities located throughout the nation
Wind Energy projects with a total capacity of 12,700 megawatts were under construction at the start of 2015, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
In 2016, the city of Georgetown, Texas will become the first community in the state to use 100% renewable energy sources for its electricity. Contracts with solar energy producer SunEdison and wind developer EDF will give the city of 54,000 enough renewable energy to meet residents’ needs.
Texas is the #1 state for wind power production, having one-third of U.S. installed wind capacity. With its wide open terrain and high elevation, the Texas Panhandle is a super corridor for wind, and Texas has done an outstanding job of putting it to good use!
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