Solar4Scholars: Quick Facts about Wind in the USA
- There are excellent areas for the production of wind energy in every country in the world.
- Wind farms have some of the largest wind turbines available. These can be as big as 150 feet in diameter. Situated in the proper place, these can produce enough energy to power more as many as 200 homes.
- Wind energy in the United States contributes more than 4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
- The power available from wind energy is much higher related to wind speed. For example, a wind speed of 20 miles per hour may produce twice as much energy as a wind speed of 15 miles per hour. A turbine that is higher up will catch more wind. A turbine that catches more wind will produce more power.
- Wind power plants, also called wind farms, are situated in places where there is a wind resource of 16 mph (on average). These places could produce as much as 20 percent of the US total annual electricity.
- Generating costs for wind power plants (wind farms) have gone down profoundly over the years. In 1981, they were $0.30/kWh. In 1990, they were $0.05/kWh. In 2005, cost is less than $0.03/kWh. This is at maximum output, of course, which is almost never achieved-most wind farms operate at about 30 percent of capacity. This rate (at full capacity) would make it cheaper than many other sources of energy.
- By itself, the state of North Dakota has enough energy from good wind areas to supply over 25 percent of the current electricity consumption of the lower 48 states.
Advertiser Links for alternative energy [ what's this?]