Wind energy development has grown dramatically in the United States. In 2016, more than 52,000 wind turbines produced a record 226 TWh of wind energy — up nearly 20 percent from the previous year.
The industry can — and will — have to produce more energy from the turbines already installed, according to an untapped energy report published by Uptake Technologies. Some existing wind parks have underperformed by preconstruction energy assessments. For projects under development, producing more energy will be necessary as renewable procurement auctions press for ever-lower costs to find an energy buyer.
If the industry improves turbine availability, it can produce more energy from existing turbines to meet this challenge — with no new hardware.
Uptake’s estimates only calculate energy lost due to downtime. It is likely that wind turbine productivity will also increase as operators use predictive analytics software that detects underperforming turbines and looming problems. Advanced analytics providers like Uptake have software solutions designed specifically for the wind industry. The 12 TWh of untapped energy is achievable using current technology.
For the full report from Uptake Technologies, click here.