Jason Barton

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NREL study shows 20 percent wind is possible by 2024

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If U.S. energy consumption were reduced by 30% by 2020, this same amount of wind power generation would account for nearly 30% of our energy use. It will take investment in our transmission grids that ensures this electricity is transported efficiently, but with the savings in overall energy costs, these expenditures are more easily covered, moving us closer to that goal of having plenty of natural gas and coal for many, many generations to come.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Eastern Wind Integration and Transmission Study (EWITS) January 20. This unprecedented two-and-a-half year technical study of future high-penetration wind scenarios was designed to analyze the economic, operational, and technical implications of shifting 20 percent or more of the Eastern Interconnection’s electrical load to wind energy by the year 2024.

“Twenty percent wind is an ambitious goal, but this study shows that there are multiple scenarios through which it can be achieved,” said David Corbus, NREL project manager for the study. “Whether we’re talking about using land-based wind in the Midwest, offshore wind in the East or any combination of wind power resources, any plausible scenario requires transmission infrastructure upgrades and we need to start planning for that immediately.”

Read the entire article here.