Utility-scale wind generation currently provides 4.5% of the nation’s electricity, and there are now wind power stations in 39 states. According to the Department of Energy’s new “Wind Vision” report, the percentage of power derived from wind energy could potentially increase to 35% and encompass all 50 states. The report lays out the various pathways to achieving a critical mass of power production that is U.S.-based and sustainable, with zero carbon emissions, zero pollution and zero use of water.
It also explores the costs, benefits, and assumptions around technology innovation and pricing trends for alternative sources like natural gas. So in that sense, the “study scenario” represents a projection not a plan. But the “Wind Vision” analysis demonstrates the economic value that wind power could bring to the nation, a value, says DOE, that exceeds the costs of deployment.