It seems incredible, but the DOE’s Wind Program has now worked with industry and other partners for more than 30 years to advance both large and small wind energy technologies. PES takes a look at how the sector can grow yet further, to secure a larger market in the face of increased renewables competition.
For large wind technologies, industry partnerships have successfully improved the performance of wind turbines while dramatically reducing costs. Advances in small wind technology have produced quieter, more reliable systems that are easier to install and cost less to operate.
Many technologies developed with the support of the program have moved into the marketplace to become commercial successes. In addition to helping industry advance wind technologies, the Wind Program has worked to increase public and utility acceptance of wind energy by developing methodologies to reliably integrate wind energy into our nation’s infrastructure and provide accurate up-to-date information.
Although wind technology and the wind industry have come a long way, generating 20 per cent of the nation’s electricity from wind energy by 2030 will require comprehensive research and development to address a broad spectrum of challenges. Wind turbines need to become more reliable, capture more energy, and cost less to produce and operate so that wind energy can compete with traditional fuel sources in the marketplace. The nation’s transmission infrastructure needs to be expanded and upgraded so that clean energy from wind and other renewable sources can be efficiently transported to areas with a high demand for electricity.