July 22, 2009

Can U.S. really become the "Saudi Arabia of wind"?

A new report from Harvard University, published this week by the National Academy of Sciences, predicts that the total U.S. wind capacity is MUCH higher than expected. Many green energy experts have been touting wind power as a potential source of renewable energy sufficiently abundant to meet current energy demand in the United States. But skeptics have been casting doubt on those claims.

But this study shows that the U.S. could supply 16 times its current energy demand using wind power--if primary wind regions are harnessed.

The other good news is that Russia and China can far exceed their current energy demand by implementing large-scale wind projects as well. Instead, China opens a new coal power plant every 10 days (yes, you read that correctly) to keep up with its growing energy demand.

However, a great deal of infrastructure would need to be put in place to make this potential a reality, including a network of high-capacity transmission lines and new technologies.

Large 2.5 wind turbines contains a lot of steel and over 80,000 parts which translates into lots of jobs. Sounds like a good deal for former autoworkers in the midwest, doesn't it?