What wind energy holds for the 2020s in America
- Nov 1, 2019 11:30 am GMT
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By 2020, wind energy will produce 10% of the energy in America. Analysts that are keeping an eye on the future of wind power express uncertainty after that, because the Production Tax Credit will cause an important impact. However, wind energy will outlive this, and the market will continue to demand new turbines. Certainly, the potential is there.
Wind energy costs are decreasing and will continue to do so. In only seven years, the costs have dropped two-thirds, and analysts at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory predict that it will drop another 24% by 2030. This means that wind energy will become cheaper and cheaper, and therefore more widespread than it is even now.
Wind towers are also being made taller, which means they’re more cost-effective; furthermore, they’re using longer blades, which allows the turbines to have better performance. Another major aspect that speaks a lot about the future of wind power is digitization. AI and big data allows for output to be maximized.
Wind turbines are also to be replaced every 25 years, according to Wind Vision from the Department of Energy. This means that the technology will constantly be upgraded, which will increase output, decrease maintenance, and be more effective.
Offshore progress is also a major point for the future of wind energy in America as hundreds of offshore turbines are added. Because the costs will continue to drop, investments and jobs will increase substantially, thus allowing the industry to have a lot more room to grow and expand.
When it comes to market trends, there are many factors that will contribute to the growth of wind power in the 2020s. For one, consumer preference for wind power will remain high; for another, companies will continue to cater to this, thus increasing their own commitment to clean energy by investing in it. An example is Amazon Web Services, which has already invested in utility-scale wind in North Carolina.
Natural gas prices continue to rise ever higher, so it’s safe to say that it’s not in the nation’s best interest from an economic standpoint to continue investing in gas for the grid. As it stands, wind already saves consumers billions of dollars a year, so this will influence energy buyers greatly. Electrification is another major factor. As electric vehicles become more mainstream, transportation will join the list of industries that will increase demand.
Also adding to the future growth of wind energy is state policies. More and more American states are working on increasing the standards of renewable energy, and these changes drive up wind purchases.
The wind industry, along with administration leaders and regional grid operators, are also starting to push for the upgrade of grid infrastructure. The purpose of this is to meet demand and keep the prices low, which will be a great opportunity for clean energy—wind power included.
It’s safe to say that the future is full of opportunities for the wind industry and for the clean energy industry in general.