Longer blades and taller towers are among the reasons for the increase in wind power in the United States. According to the report, the renewable energy source captured more than 8% of the country's electricity supply - up from 10% in a growing number in the US - and generated a $25 billion investment of 16.8 GWh. p>
This fascinating report from the US Department of Energy uses a variety of data sources to find it, including government data from the Energy Information Administration, trade data from the US International Trade Commission, and "the report itself covers a wide range," said Mark Bollinger, a scientist. Research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the report, for Ars.
Bigger Sometimes Better
According to the report, wind dramatically improves performance in the U.S. We can do this based on the amplitude factor, the ratio of The amount of energy the turbine actually produces.Compared to the amount of production if it was operating continuously at its peak, recently constructed wind power projects, the average capacity factor is now discharged at 40%.Achievements in this field can be seen in the "wind belt" In most cases, this increase is due to the longer blades that allow the turbines to generate more power when rotated by the wind. 2010 there was no turbo Nat in the United States has rotors with a diameter of more than 115 meters. Last year, 91% of new turbines had rotors of a size or larger. The report also indicates that this volume is likely to increase. According to Bollinger, this move is not widespread, but "it is now beginning to creep in."Advertising
In the past, there were "soft hats" with a total height of 500 feet. From the turbines -- from the base of the tower to the tip of the blades -- he said, because it would give more permits to the FAA. But with the recent increase in the size of the rotors, the towers must also increase in size so that the powerful blades do not fall to the ground. Developers are getting more comfortable from over 500 feet in height, he said, adding that some turbines can reach 700 feet. Even with the practical reason behind it, taller towers help the turbines generate more power. He said.
The "wind belt" is still responsible for many wind developments in the United States. However, this trend of larger turbines with larger rotors allows wind operators to perform well in areas with lower average wind speeds. "This will make other parts of the country face economic development," he said. The cheapest Bollinger says it may be more expensive, but it produces more power.
I blow with the wind h2>
All of this makes wind power cheaper. In 2009, the national average price for wind energy contracts was $70 per megawatt-hour. At present, in the "wind belt", it is about $20 per MWh, and on average in the eastern and western regions of the country, it is $30 per MWh. "This is at or near its lowest point," Bollinger said. However, it does include the impact of tax credits on renewable energy.
Winds also receive indirect subsidies because they need power lines to reach people. Wind operations tend to move away from major population centers. To improve wind energy efficiency, Bollinger said, there should be better incentives to build these lines and more planning for their construction. "The farm helped urban centers where electricity can be consumed," he said. But it also offers benefits whose price is unknown. By moving fossil fuels, wind energy can reduce the release of various compounds such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. Human health and the climate benefit from these cuts. The report estimates that the average national economic benefit of these cuts was $76 per megawatt-hour last year, driven by wind. According to Bollinger, this year's report is the first to include a portion of the health and environmental benefits of a renewable energy source.
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