Take a bow, U.S. wind industry. A recent AWEA study by James Walker (here http://goo.gl/5OGslH) found that although the U.S. has fewer wind turbines than China, the U.S. gets more power from its fleet. Here are the few 2013 details that Walker presented:
The conclusion of his study is that the U.S. is the world’s number one producer of power from wind. But why the difference? Walker surmises that incentives in China reward the construction of turbines so many are built without access to transmission. In the U.S., production gets rewarded.
This makes me wonder (and you too, I’ll bet), how many conventional power plants would it take to produce 167 billion kWh?
Let’s assume a conventional plant can produce 500 MW, and it operates at an 80% capacity factor.
P = 500,000 kW x 24 hr/day x 365 days/year x 0.80 capacity factor
= 3,504,000,000 kWh
Then, by simple division:
N plants = 168 billion kWh/ 3.5 billion kWh/plant
= 47.9 or about 48 conventional power plants.
And that number will probably be higher at the end of 2014. The only additional conclusion is that the Production Tax Credit works, it should be passed for several years, and the industry should build more wind farms
— Paul Dvorak
Filed Under: News
Dick Von Berg says
The numbers released by AWEA are impressive and encouraging, but they calculate to a 28% output level of power from wind energy turbines. Although the wind does rest sometimes, this shows that upgrades can be applied in the future to bring a better return on investment. The future looks very promising. Dick Von Berg
Stephen Dewar says
As usual Paul, your comments are well founded and useful.