Have you wondered whether having a small scale wind system, also known as distributed wind, would be right for you? Wonder no more. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory today released the Distributed Wind Energy Futures Study, which shows distributed wind energy could bring clean power to millions of American households. The study details the high potential of distributed wind to provide more than half of the nation’s current annual electricity consumption.
Location, Location, Location
States in the nation’s Midwest and Heartland regions have the largest potential for distributed wind due to the combination of high wind speeds and sufficiently high retail electricity rates, according to the report. The Pacific and Northeast regions also have significant distributed wind potential. States across much of the Northeast as well as California have less profitable distributed wind potential, but even in those states there are select locations with significant wind resources, which when combined with generally higher retail electricity rates, means there are good opportunities for distributed wind in these areas too.
The study also concluded there are significant opportunities to expand distributed wind in disadvantaged communities that have a high risk for environmental hazards and/or areas that include high proportions of low-income households, potentially creating a way to reduce energy costs in these communities.
Distributed wind energy is connected to the local electricity grid and can provide onsite energy to businesses, farms, homes, and other users. It can also help communities transition to carbon-free electricity. Approximately 1.1 GW of distributed wind capacity is currently installed in the United States. You can start exploring whether distributed wind energy might be possible for you by looking at the DOE's Wind Resource Map and distributed wind energy page as well as the Energy Saver page on distributed wind energy.
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