IOUs, co-ops and munis alike are turning to wind for economics, not just mandates, but transmission remains a major constraint.
Wind’s growth has been so rapid and its price has dropped so fast that a more important long term trend is often missed: It is quickly expanding its addressable marketplace.
Deployed wind energy capacity grew almost 19% in 2016, to 5.53% of total U.S. generating capacity, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). By year’s end, it was the nation’s most plentiful renewable resource by capacity, surpassing hydropower. There is now wind generation in 41 states. In the fourth quarter alone, 19 states brought new projects online.
Momentum for that wind construction came not just from utilities aiming to meet renewable energy mandates, but because power companies saw economic reasons to invest in wind.
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