June 15 is Global Wind Day, created to celebrate and promote the good things that come from wind energy. In honor of the day, let’s take a quick look at this growing means of clean, renewable energy production.
Leading producers. In the U.S., wind energy has grown by about 30 percent in the last 10 years, according to the American Wind Energy Association. Texas ranks No. 1, producing in 2017 enough electricity to power 5.3 million homes. And that figure looks like it will only get higher as the Lone Star State continues to add more wind turbines. Oklahoma is the next biggest U.S. producer, followed by Iowa, California and Kansas. Globally, China currently has the most installed capacity to produce wind energy. The U.S. is a close second, followed by Germany, India and Spain.
Upping production. Some scientists are now saying that wind and solar power together could supply 80 percent of America’s electricity demand. These scientists looked at 36 years of weather data to help build a picture of the variables that might stand in the way of wind and solar. The sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow, after all. But what they discovered is that those variables could be overcome by a larger transmission network or large facilities capable of storing more electricity.
Making the most of location. Most wind farms today are located on land, but experts say those located at sea are poised to make the best use of atmospheric conditions. Through computer modeling, some scientists have determined that wind farms at sea could produce up to three times more electricity than those located on land. The high wind speeds of the North Atlantic Ocean, in particular, promise high yields, they say.
Boosting the economy. According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the wind industry today employs more than 100,000 people working across the U.S. In about 30 years, that number could increase six fold. And it’s predicted that wind turbines and farms could be an important source of revenue for communities able to collect extra tax revenue on land leases and property taxes. And let’s not forget that wind energy is relatively cheap, overall, and less susceptible to price fluctuations. Experts say wind energy by 2050 could save consumers about $280 billion on their energy bills.
At Infinite Energy, we’re excited about the potential of green energy. We know it’s a necessary path toward a sustainable future.