U.S. Wind Capacity Could Grow Tenfold by 2050
A new animated map by the U.S. Department of Energy shows how the country’s power generation will be transformed as wind turbines expand from 5% of capacity today to 10% in 2020, 20% in 2030, and 35% in 2050.
“The estimated growth is dramatic,” Grist and Climate Central report. “The map shows total U.S. wind power capacity growing from about 40 gigawatts—enough power for about 10 million homes—in 2010, to more than 400 gigawatts in 2050.”
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The industry’s composition is also likely to shift, with offshore wind farms becoming a more prominent part of the supply mix by the end of this decade.
Alongside the map, DoE released a report that reveals “wind power potential in nearly the entire U.S., most notably in places where the breeze was thought to be too calm to generate much electricity at all,” Magill writes.
“The idea is this: The wind usually blows harder at higher altitudes, so taller wind turbines with blades longer than those most commonly manufactured today could capture the wind more effectively as it blows high above the loblolly pines and Southern magnolias in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, parts of the Ohio River Valley, and the calmer parts of California’s Central Valley.”