Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Far More Wind Power Potential Than Current Electrical Consumption

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Good things continue to to come out of America’s research facilities.  Among the latest: a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in my state of Colorado finds that the total on-shore wind energy potential in the U.S. is 9X our current electrical consumption.

The last time NREL completed a similar analysis was back in 1993.  Almost 20 years later, much has changed.  Turbine heights can be significantly higher today.  Technological efficiencies have increased.  And their ability to accurately map wind energy potential has undergone significant improvement.

Back in 2000, ~2.5GW of wind energy was hooked up to the nations’ grid.  As of last year, that total increased to an impressive 35GW.  That’s after 8 years of a right-wing cabal running the country that had for more passion for Saudi oil than domestic wind.  Those 35GW are enough to power 9.7 million U.S. households.  As impressive as that 35GW might be, the new estimate of total available wind energy is stunning: 10,000GW!

I would highly recommend going to their maps link.  Click on your state; click on the High Plains states.  Unsurprisingly to anyone who lives or has driven through the High Plains, it’s windy here.  There is enough wind potential from North Dakota down through western Texas to power this entire country’s electrical needs.

The only thing missing is a national-level effort to harness this opportunity.  With fewer renewable resources available to them, you can see why states in the southeast continue to fight hard for dirty energy corporations.  They don’t see the imminent threat that climate change presents to them, which is a tragedy for the entire country.  Enough is enough from dirty energy.  Wind power, only one of many renewable forms of electricity, can provide all the electricity the entire country uses many times over.  It’s time to make a smart switch.

Cross-posted at SquareState.


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