A new report from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office titled “Wind Vision: A New Era of Wind Power in the United States” finds that wind energy could supply 35 percent of the country’s electricity by 2050. That is enough energy to power more than 100 million homes and support more than 600,000 jobs, according to the report, which updates and expands upon a 2008 DOE report titled “20 percent Wind Energy by 2030.”
Image via U.S. Department of Energy
Since President Obama took office, wind electricity has increased threefold, and from 2009 to 2013 wind represented 30 percent of new electricity generation in the United States, according to a White House summary of the report. The U.S. ranks first in the world in wind power generation with 4.5 percent of total electricity—enough energy to power 16 million homes. Utility-scale wind energy plants are located in 39 states, supporting more than 50,000 jobs.
“Widely deploying wind turbines, both on land and offshore, for U.S. electricity generation provides a domestic, sustainable and essentially zero-carbon, zero-pollution and zero-water use electricity resource,” said the Obama administration. “Wind energy continues to be one of America’s best choices for low-cost, zero-pollution renewable energy, and in an increasing number of markets, may be the cheapest source of new energy available.”
Other key benefits from increased wind energy generation by 2050 include projected cost reductions of 37 percent and consumer savings of $280 billion; combating climate change by avoiding more than 12.3 billion metric tons of carbon pollution cumulatively; saving approximately 260 billion gallons of water; and approximately $108 billion in savings in healthcare costs and economic damages.
“The stakes for the nation are high. I am confident that, with sustained leadership in innovation, U.S. wind power will continue to make a significant contribution to the ever-evolving energy landscape,” said José Zayas, director of DOE’s Wind and Water Power Technologies Office. “The ‘Wind Vision’ is intended to assist in prioritizing the decisions needed to increase the economic competitiveness of the U.S. wind industry throughout the 21st century.”
Via USA Today
Lead image via U.S. Department of Agriculture