March 31, 2009

How quickly is wind growing?

Wind power in the US in 2008 added 21.2 Terawatt hours (8.4GW nameplate @29% capacity factor).

That was 32% of our 10-year growth of 66 Twhrs per year, and about 60% higher than the installations in 2007. At that growth rate wind could provide 100% of new power in less than 4 years, and after that start replacing coal.

There's no reason we couldn't resume that growth curve, should we decide to. Obviously, wind isn't growing as fast right now due to our current financial problems, but I imagine nuclear isn't helped by the financial mess, either (also, 2009 may well show zero or very small electricity demand growth, so there's a nice match there of supply and demand side stagnation).

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