The economics of wind power are looking good, according to a 350-page report issued Thursday by the U.S. Department of Energy, which states that the nation’s swiftly expanding wind industry could help America significantly reduce its carbon emissions, support more than 600,000 jobs, and provide 35 percent of the United States’s electricity needs, all by the year 2050.
““(pdf), which includes contributions from more than 250 people across government, the private sector, and academia, is a follow-up to a 2008 DOE report that charted a possible course for wind reaching 20 percent in the U.S. power mix by 2030.
Wind now accounts for 4.5 percent of the country’s electricity capacity, with utility-scale wind plants installed in 39 states, and the sector is growing quickly.
Just this week, a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the electricity generated from wind and solar grew a lot faster than electricity generated by fossil fuels in 2014.
And those trends are poised to continue. According to an Obama administration fact sheet, “with continuing technological advancements, cost reductions, and siting and transmission development, the nation can deploy wind power to economically provide 35% of our nation’s electricity and supply renewable power in all 50 states by 2050.”
“The Wind Vision analysis demonstrates the economic value that wind power can bring to the nation, a value exceeding the costs of deployment,” the DOE study reads. “Wind’s environmental benefits can address key societal challenges such as climate change, air quality and public health, and water scarcity. Wind deployment can provide U.S. jobs, U.S. manufacturing, and lease and tax revenues in local communities to strengthen and support a transition of the nation’s electricity sector towards a low-carbon U.S. economy.”
News outlets highlighted various aspects of the DOE’s assessment.
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