Wind energy could supply 35 percent of the U.S.’s electric power by 2050, according to a recent report from the Department of Energy (DOE).
Reaching that percentage of power supplied from wind depends on technology costs coming down as well as fossil fuel prices being consistently high. The third necessity for the projection to come true is that Congress and the President provide consistent policy that encourages establishment of more wind farms.
Reaching the 35 percent projection will also mean a lot more wind farms, many of them on rural ground, which provides good income to farmers, ranchers and absentee landowners.
Wind power currently only generates 4.5 percent of the nation’s electricity, which means there has to be a rapid increase in new wind generation. The DOE estimates electrical generation from wind will only have doubled by 2020 based on recent expansion of wind farms.
It would seem that reaching 20 percent of electrical generation by 2030 and then the 35 percent by 2050 is quite a stretch.
DOE in the whole scheme of things pointed out many conditions will have to occur; the stars will have to align in perfect order as the old saying goes.
Of major importance to push the power generating industry to wind relates to how much legislation and regulations are passed to require “clean energy” generation.
The DOE report, “Wind Vision,” claims that 35 percent generation from wind would provide almost $800 billion in benefits from avoided greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
A permanent production tax credit would have a big positive impact on expanding wind power, but government credits are seen as costly to congressional budget conservatives.
Katherine Ling, Energy & Environmental news service reporter, quoted Franklin Orr, DOE undersecretary of science and energy, as saying, “Policy is important, but it is our job to work on as many ways to bring new costs of wind power down as much as we can, and technology research has an important role to play there. We need all the parts. We need technology research, we need transmission, we need the marketplace to work all of this.”