Wind Rises to Become Second Largest Energy Source
- Apr 18, 2022 12:00 pm GMT
The energy industry’s move to renewables picked up traction. In March, wind was the second most popular energy source for the first time. Its rise increases the pressure on transmission professionals to find ways to elegantly integrate this option in with their other energy options.
On Tuesday, March 29, wind turbines in the Lower 48 states produced 2,017 gigawatthours (GWh) of electricity, which was more than coal-fired and nuclear electricity generation each did separately, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
More Work to Do
Consistent growth in wintd turbine capacity has led to more potential wind-powered electricity generation. In September 2019, US wind capacity surpassed nuclear capacity, but wind still generated less electricity than nuclear because of differences in those technologies’ utilization. Nuclear is an extremely efficient power source: averaging 93% of capacity in 2021. Wind functions at only 35% capacity.
Energy companies have been trying to address the limitations, which require adjustments in transmission facilities. As new wind sources emerge, energy companies must integrate them into their existing transmission facilities. The process is challenging for a few reasons.
Customers expect to have energy available as soon as they turn on a light bulb. Wind is a sporadic energy generator, so energy companies need to create new storage systems to house extra capacity needed when the winds become calm.
Also new management systems are needed. They must balance wind generation with other sources to ensure power is delivered on demand.
Energy companies continue to invest in wind power in order to move to renewable energy. The turbine infrastructure is in place, but more work is required for integrating it with the grid’s transmission infrastructure.
No discussions yet. Start a discussion below.