Wind power

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A modern wind turbine in rural scenery.

Wind power: worldwide installed capacity 1996-2008

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, wind mills for mechanical power, wind pumps for pumping water ordrainage, or sails to propel ships. At the end of 2009, worldwide nameplate capacity of wind-powered generators was 159.2gigawatts (GW).[1] Energy production was 340 TWh, which is about 2% of worldwide electricity usage;[1][2] and has doubled in the past three years. Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 20% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 14% in Ireland[3] and Portugal, 11% in Spain, and 8% in Germany in 2009.[4] As of May 2009, 80 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.[2] Large-scale wind farms are connected to the electric power transmission network; smaller facilities are used to provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy back surplus electricity produced by small domestic turbines. Wind energy, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful,renewable, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation. However, the construction of wind farms

is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact but any effects on the environment are generally among the least problematic of any power source. Wind power is non-dispatchable, meaning that for economic operation, all of the available output must be taken when it is available. Other resources, such as hydropower, and load management techniques must be used to match supply with demand. The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low proportion of total demand, but as the proportion rises, increased costs, a need to upgrade the grid, and a lowered ability to supplant conventional production may occur.[5][6][7] Power management techniques such as exporting and importing power to neighboring areas or reducing demand when wind production is low, can mitigate these problems.

Burbo Bank Offshore Wind Farm, at the entrance to the River Mersey in North WestEngland.

Renewable energy

Biofuel Biomass Geothermal Hydroelectricity Solar energy Tidal power Wave power Wind power

1 Grid management 3.S.1 Distribution of wind speed 3 Electricity generation o o o o o 3.2 Capacity factor 3.3 Penetration 3.1 Relative cost of electricity by generation source 8.6 Incentives 8.7 Full costs and lobbying 9 Environmental effects 10 See also 11 References 12 External links o 12.UK 8.1 U.5 Direct costs 8.5 Capacity credit and fuel saving 4 Installation placement 5 Wind power usage o 5.v ·d ·e Contents [hide] 1 History 2 Wind energy o 2.World 8.1 Power analysis 6 Offshore wind power 7 Small-scale wind power 8 Economics and feasibility o o o o o o o 8.4 Intermittency and penetration limits 3. History .4 Theoretical potential .3 Theoretical potential .2 Growth and cost trends 8.

the Danish scientist and inventor Poul la Courconstructed wind turbines to generate electricity.500 years to propel sailboats and sailing ships. . which was then used to produce hydrogen. Windpumps contributed to the expansion of rail transport systems throughout the world. wind power generators in Spain near anOsborne bull Humans have been using wind power for at least 5.Main article: History of wind power Medieval depiction of a wind mill Windmills are typically installed in favourable windy locations. In the image. In July 1887. which powered his home and laboratory until about 1900. by pumping water from water wells for the steam locomotives.[8] The multi-bladed wind turbine atop a lattice tower made of wood or steel was.Windmills have been used for irrigation pumping and for milling grain since the 7th century AD in what is now Afghanistan. When fitted with generators and battery banks. for many years. the development of the "water-pumping windmill" was the major factor in allowing the farming and ranching of vast areas otherwise devoid of readily accessible water. In the 1890s. a fixture of the landscape throughout rural America. small wind machines provided electricity to isolated farms. Iran and Pakistan. Charles F.[9]These were the first of what was to become the modern form of wind turbine. undertook wind power experiments that culminated in a UK patent in 1891. Brush produced electricity using a wind powered machine. Professor James Blyth.[9] In the United States. a Scottish academic. starting in the winter of 1887-1888. In the United States.

and Bonus. The total amount of economically extractable power available from the wind is considerably more than present human power use from all sources. Larger units intended for connection to a distribution network were tried at several locations including Balaklava USSR in 1931 and in a 1. with capacities of 20±30 kW each.[11] compared to about 15 TW average global power consumption from all sources in 2005. Wind energy Further information: Wind Distribution of wind speed (red) and energy (blue) for all of 2002 at the Lee Ranch facility in Colorado. the wind energy is converted through friction into diffuse heat throughout the Earth's surface and the atmosphere. they have increased greatly in size. Vestas.[10]An estimated 72 terawatt (TW) of wind power on the Earth potentially can be commercially viable. Total energy for the year through that circle was 15. Not all the energy of the wind flowing past a given point can be recovered (see Wind energy physics and Betz' law). These early turbines were small by today's standards. Since then. Eventually.4 gigawatt-hours (GW·h). with the Enercon E-126 capable of delivering up to 7 MW.Small wind turbines for lighting of isolated rural buildings were widespread in the first part of the 20th century. The histogram shows measured data. such that the poles receive less energy from the sun than the equator. Most of the energy stored in these wind movements can be found at high altitudes where continuous wind speeds of over 160 km/h (99 mph) occur. The Earth is unevenly heated by the sun. Nordtank. The modern wind power industry began in 1979 with the serial production of wind turbines by Danish manufacturers Kuriant. while the curve is the Rayleigh model distribution for the same average wind speed. dry land heats up (and cools down) more quickly than the seas do. while wind turbine production has expanded to many countries. along with this.25 megawatt (MW) experimental unit in Vermont in 1941. The differential heating drives a global atmospheric convection system reaching from the Earth's surface to the stratosphere which acts as a virtual ceiling. . Energy is the Betz limit through a 100 m (328 ft) diameter circle facing directly into the wind.

individual turbines are interconnected with a medium voltage (often 34. The Weibull factor is often close to 2 and therefore a Rayleigh distribution can be used as a less accurate. batteries. pumped-storage hydroelectricity and energy demand management. To assess the frequency of wind speeds at a particular location. a probability distribution function is often fit to the observed data. in some jurisdictions.[12] half of the energy available arrived in just 15% of the operating time. but simpler model.[14][15] Grid management . be fed into the network and sold to the utility company. Problems of variability are addressed by grid energy storage. The 2002 Lee Ranch sample is telling. in particular the use of stronger inter-regional transmission lines to link widely distributed wind farms. The surplus power produced by domestic microgenerators can. At a substation. Different locations will have different wind speed distributions.[13] Electricity generation Typical components of a wind turbine (gearbox.5 kV). utilities that use wind power provide power from starting existing generation for times when the wind is weak thus wind power is primarily a fuel saver rather than a capacity saver. Because so much power is generated by higher wind speed. Making wind power more consistent requires that various existing technologies and methods be extended. The Weibull model closely mirrors the actual distribution of hourly wind speeds at many locations. and an average value for a given location does not alone indicate the amount of energy a wind turbine could produce there. power collection system and communications network. much of the energy comes in short bursts.Distribution of wind speed The strength of wind varies. producing a retail credit for the microgenerators' owners to offset their energy costs. The consequence is that wind energy from a particular turbine or wind farm does not have as consistent an output as fuel-fired power plants. rotor shaft and brake assembly) being lifted into position In a wind farm. this medium-voltage electric current is increased in voltage with a transformer for connection to the high voltage electric power transmission system.

often used for wind power. developments and prognosis. unlike steam or hydro turbine-driven synchronous generators. require reactive power for excitation sosubstations used in wind-power collection systems include substantial capacitor banks for power factor correction. Nuclear plants have low incremental fuel cost. Data source: WWEA Since wind speed is not constant.S. Transmission systems operators will supply a wind farm developer with a grid code to specify the requirements for interconnection to the transmission grid.[19][20] Unlike fueled generating plants. Online data is available for some locations and the capacity factor can be calculated from the yearly output. Gas turbine plants using natural gas as fuel may be very expensive to operate and may be run only to meet peak power demand.066 MW·h.Induction generators. Capacity factors of other types of power plant are based mostly on fuel cost.[21] . with a small amount of downtime for maintenance. induction generators cannot support the system voltage during faults. so extensive modelling of the dynamic electromechanical characteristics of a new wind farm is required by transmission system operators to ensure predictable stable behaviour during system faults (see: Low voltage ride through).[16][17] Capacity factor Worldwide installed capacity 1997±2020 [MW]. Plants with higher fuel cost are throttled back to follow load. The capacity factor achieved by new wind turbines in 2004 and 2005 reached 36%. the capacity factor is limited by the inherent properties of wind.760 MW·h in a year (1 × 24 × 365). The ratio of actual productivity in a year to this theoretical maximum is called the capacity factor. This will include power factor.[18]For example. In a 2008 study released by the U.35 × 24 × 365 = 3. Typical capacity factors are 20±40%. with values at the upper end of the range in particularly favourable sites. a wind farm's annual energy production is never as much as the sum of the generator nameplate ratings multiplied by the total hours in a year. Doubly-fed machines generally have more desirable properties for grid interconnection[citation needed]. In particular. averaging to 0. and so are run at full output and achieve a 90% capacity factor. but only 1 × 0.35 MW. A gas turbine plant may have an annual capacity factor of 5±25% due to relatively high energy production cost. Different types of wind turbine generators behave differently during transmission grid disturbances. the capacity factor achieved by the wind turbine fleet is shown to be increasing as the technology improves. constancy of frequency and dynamic behavior of the wind farm turbines during a system fault. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. a 1 MW turbine with a capacity factor of 35% will not produce 8.

For example. The limit for a particular grid will depend on the existing generating plants.Penetration Kitegen Wind energy "penetration" refers to the fraction of energy produced by wind compared with the total available generation capacity. Spain and Portugal (values over 11%). Beyond this level. there can be times where wind power provides a substantial percentage of the power on a grid.[22] These studies have been for locations with geographically dispersed wind farms. a few grid systems have penetration of wind energy above 5%: Denmark (values over 19%). . some degree of dispatchable energy. But even with a modest level of penetration. Germany and the Republic of Ireland (values over 6%). and interconnection to a large grid area export of electricity when needed. and other factors. setting a new record. pricing mechanisms. Electrical utilities continue to study the effects of large (20% or more) scale penetration of wind generation on system stability and economics.[23][24][25] [26] At present. this reserve capacity can also serve to regulate for the varying power generation by wind plants. there are few technical limits. or hydropower with storage capacity. in the morning hours of 8 November 2009. There is no generally accepted "maximum" level of wind penetration. but the economic implications become more significant. An interconnected electricity grid will already include reserve generating and transmission capacity to allow for equipment failures.[27] This was an instance where demand was very low but wind power generation was very high. capacity for storage or demand management. Studies have indicated that 20% of the total electrical energy consumption may be incorporated with minimal difficulty. wind energy produced covered more than half the electricity demand in Spain. demand management.

Electricity generated from wind power can be highly variable at several different timescales: from hour to hour. the cost of storage may add 25% to the cost of any wind energy stored. Related to variability is the short-term (hourly or daily) predictability of wind plant output.Wildorado Wind Ranch in Oldham Countyin the Texas Panhandle. Wind power forecasting methods are used.S. Systems with large wind capacity components may need more spinning reserve (plants operating at less than full load). or storage solutions or system interconnection with HVDC cables. See also: Wind Power Forecasting. Like other electricity sources. Wind power can be replaced by other power stations during low wind periods. load shedding. Annual variation also exists. The 2 GW Dinorwig pumped storage plant in Wales evens out electrical demand peaks. but it is not envisaged that this would apply to a large proportion of wind energy generated. and (at high penetration levels) could require an increase in the already existing energy demand management. The potential revenue from this arbitrage can offset the cost and losses of storage. but is not as significant. Because instantaneous electrical generation and consumption must remain in balance to maintain grid stability. as photographed from U. and seasonally. and allows base-load suppliers to run their plant more efficiently. Although . fluctuations in load and allowance for failure of large generating units requires reserve capacity that can also regulate for variability of wind generation. incremental operating reserve. daily. wind energy must be "scheduled". Intermittency and the non-dispatchable nature of wind energy production can raise costs for regulation. At low levels of wind penetration. this variability can present substantial challenges to incorporating large amounts of wind power into a grid system. Route 385 Intermittency and penetration limits Main article: Intermittent Power Sources. Transmission networks must already cope with outages of generation plant and daily changes in electrical demand.[30] Stored energy increases the economic value of wind energy since it can be shifted to displace higher cost generation during peak demand periods. but predictability of wind plant output remains low for short-term operation.[28][29] Pumped-storage hydroelectricity or other forms of grid energy storage can store energy developed by high-wind periods and release it when needed.

whereas low pressure areas tend to be windier and cloudier. high pressure areas tend to bring clear skies and low surface winds. as shown: Increase in system operation costs. and have high installation costs. solar energy typically peaks in summer. but it does not make the grid unmanageable.[37][38] On daily to weekly timescales. In the USA it is estimated that to upgrade the transmission system to take in planned or potential renewables would cost at least $60 billion. A demonstration project at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy shows the effect. Another option is to interconnect widely dispersed geographic areas with an HVDC "Super grid". to reduce electricity demand during the summer months by making air conditioning up to 70% more efficient. can be quantified.[31][32] In particular geographic regions. Euros per MW·h. and the additional costs. biogas and hydrostorage to provide load-following power around the clock. peak wind speeds may not coincide with peak demand for electrical power. entirely from renewable sources. hot days in summer may have low wind speed and high electrical demand due to air conditioning. wind. their low running costs and ability to reduce the required electrical base-load can save both fuel and total electrical generation costs. In the US states of California andTexas. which are modest.pumped storage power systems are only about 75% efficient. whereas in many areas wind energy is lower in summer and higher in winter.[44] A 2006 International Energy Agency forum presented costs for managing intermittency as a function of wind-energy's share of total capacity for several countries.[34] In the UK. for example. generally agree that variability of wind needs to be taken into account.[35][36] Solar power tends to be complementary to wind.[40] The Institute for Solar Energy Supply Technology of theUniversity of Kassel pilot-tested a combined power plant linking solar. and so are wind speeds. demand for electricity is higher in winter than in summer. Some utilities subsidize the purchase of geothermal heat pumps by their customers.[42] Wind power advocates argue that these periods of low wind can be dealt with by simply restarting existing power stations that have been held in readiness or interlinking with HVDC.[41] A report on Denmark's wind power noted that their wind power network provided less than 1% of average demand 54 days during the year 2002.[33] widespread adoption of this technology would better match electricity demand to wind availability in areas with hot summers and low summer winds. On seasonal timescales.[39] Thus the intermittencies of wind and solar power tend to cancel each other somewhat.[43] Electrical grids with slow-responding thermal power plants and without ties to networks with hydroelectric generation may have to limit the use of wind power. for 10% and 20% wind share[6] .[42] Three reports on the wind variability in the UK issued in 2009.

value of energy to be produced. using a widely accepted and meaningful definition.3 0. baseload electric power. land use considerations.3 1. According to a 2007 Stanford University study published in the Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. See also: Wind atlas Good selection of a wind turbine site is critical to economic development of wind power.10% 20% Germany 2. worth 5 times the capacity credit value[45]) is its fuel and CO2 savings.1 0.2 Denmark 0.3 Sweden 0. cost of land acquisition.7 Capacity credit and fuel saving Many commentators concentrate on whether or not wind has any "capacity credit" without defining what they mean by this and its relevance.4 0. Wind does have a capacity credit.8 Finland 0.5 Norway 0. Wind farm designers use . as long as minimum criteria are met for wind speed and turbine height. and environmental impact of construction and operations. equal to about 20% of its rated output (but this figure varies depending on actual circumstances). other factors include the availability of transmission lines. This means that reserve capacity on a system equal in MW to 20% of added wind could be retired when such wind is added without affecting system security or robustness. Off-shore locations may offset their higher construction cost with higher annual load factors.5 3. interconnecting ten or more wind farms can allow an average of 33% of the total energy produced to be used as reliable. Aside from the availability of wind itself.[46][47] Installation placement Main article: Wind farm. thereby reducing cost of energy produced. But the precise value is irrelevant since the main value of wind (in the UK.

430 1.603 16. in 2007 the US consumed electricity at an average rate of 474 GW.428 20.963 1.149 11. Wind power classes 3 (300±400 W/m2 at 50 m altitude) to 7 (800± 2000 W/m2 at 50 m altitude) are generally considered suitable for wind power development.819 25.028 11.130 3. the National Renewable Energy Laboratory classifies wind power density into ascending classes.319 2.410 4.903 25.369 2.599 5.537 3.247 23.129 1.912 12.846 1.[citation needed] There are 625.000 km2 in the contiguous United States that have class 3 or higher wind resources and which are within 10 km of electric transmission lines.122 56.149 4.718 779 1.[48] A map showing the distribution of wind power density is a first step in identifying possible locations for wind turbines.494 4.726 2.716 3.164 2.622 22.288 2. the higher it is rated by class.389 2.132 683 1.specialized wind energy software applications to evaluate the impact of these issues on a given wind farm design.587 10.[citation needed] For comparison.850 4.070 3.[50] Wind power usage Further information: Category:Wind power by country and Installed wind power capacity Installed windpower capacity (MW)[1][51][52][53] # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Nation European Union United States Germany China Spain India Italy France United Kingdom Portugal Denmark Canada Netherlands Japan Australia 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 40.170 35.270 2.740 19.477 2.237 1.[citation needed] Wind power density (WPD) is a calculation of the effective power of the wind at a particular location.777 1.712 .140 1.759 1.925 3.862 3.465 3.460 1.255 74.266 2. If this area is fully utilized for wind power.528 817 9.589 1.088 GW.056 1.210 25.145 16.159 18.022 3.426 3.229 2.850 2.571 1.040 579 6.309 817 7.104 10. In the United States.767 9.123 1. it would produce power at the average continuous equivalent rate of 734 GW e.236 1.880 1.614 65. The larger the WPD at a location.630 15.353 1.722 48.535 3.[49] from a total generating capacity of 1.

81% of wind power installations are in the US and Europe. World wind generation capacity more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2006. doubling about every three years. with a total nameplate capacity of 157.087 995 801 725 606 563 520 497 436 431 430 348 253 201 192 177 168 147 142 123 94 91 91 1385 175 91 51 59. The share of the top five countries in terms of .927 121.260 1.151 93.899 There are now many thousands of wind turbines operating.067 1.245 990 995 433 472 339 384 85 325 358 428 390 278 125 127 150 158 20 143 78 74 90 82 54 1022 210 56 36 1.15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 Sweden Ireland Greece Austria Turkey Poland Brazil Belgium Mexico New Zealand Taiwan Norway Egypt South Korea Morocco Hungary Czech Republic Bulgaria Chile Finland Estonia Costa Rica Ukraine Iran Lithuania Other Europe (non EU27) Rest of Americas Rest of Africa & Middle East Rest of Asia & Oceania World total (MW) 509 495 573 819 20 83 29 167 2 168 104 268 145 119 64 18 30 14 ? 82 ? ? 77 32 7 391 155 52 27 571 746 758 965 65 153 237 194 84 171 188 325 230 176 64 61 57 36 ? 86 ? ? 86 47 56 494 159 52 27 831 805 873 982 207 276 247 287 85 322 280 333 310 192 125 65 116 57 ? 110 59 ? 89 67 50 601 184 51 27 1.560 1.188 157.024 74.899 MW of which wind power in Europe accounts for 48% (2009).

500 MW by end of 2009 and could easily surpass 30. the US has added substantial amounts of wind power generation capacity.[56][57] China had originally set a generating target of 30. Spain. with a commitment made in the 1970s to eventually produce half of the country's power by wind. Denmark is prominent in the manufacturing and use of wind turbines.[citation needed] In recent years.[58] A Chinese renewable energy law was adopted in November 2004.[59] Current trends suggest an actual installed capacity near 20 GW by 2010.[4] This would have ranked sixth in the world. wind power was growing faster in China than the government had planned.4% of its electrical power from wind. but climbed to 73% by 2008 as those countries ² the United States.000 MW. is currently the world's leader in wind power generation capacity.[4] Texas is the state with the largest amount of generation capacity with 9.. The World Wind Energy Association forecast that. and North Dakota could provide enough electricity to power the entire nation. Iowa is the state with the highest percentage of wind generation. Policymakers doubled their wind power prediction for 2010. were Texas a separate country.410 MW installed.9 GW at the end of 2006. by 2010. but reached 22.S. having more than doubled each year since 2005. Indigenous wind power could generate up to 253.[55]California was one of the incubators of the modern wind power industry.000 MW by end of 2010. fourteen U. and led the U.S. By 2008. Kansas. after the wind industry reached the original goal of 5 GW three years ahead of schedule. growing from just over 6 GW at the end of 2004 to over 35 GW at the end of 2009.[4] The U.925 MW in 2009. and India ² have seen substantial capacity growth in the past two years (see chart). with China shortly thereafter pursuing the United States for the world wind power lead. in installed capacity for many years. states had wind power generation capacities in excess of 1000 MW.[4] U. at 14.S. and that offshore wind farms could do the same job. following the World Wind Energy Conference organized by the Chinese and the World Wind Energy Association. installations fell from 71% in 2004 to 62% in 2006. As of mid-2010. implying an anticipated net growth rate of more than 28% per year. China.000 MW by 2020 from renewable energy sources. The country as a whole generates just 2.2% in 2009.S. Wind accounts for nearly one-fifth of electricity generated in Denmark ² the highest percentage of any country ² and it is tenth in the world in total wind power generation. over 200 GW of capacity would have been installed worldwide.[54] up from 73. The World Wind Energy Conference in New Delhi in November 2006 . but several states generate substantial amounts of wind power.[59] India ranks 5th in the world with a total wind power capacity of 10.[1] or 3% of all electricity produced in India. Department of Energy studies have concluded that wind from the Great Plains states of Texas. and indeed faster in percentage terms than in any other large country.

The 88 MW project is the first of its kind in Mexico. The plant could be operational by 2010. at a cost of $5. and is one of the major wind energy harnessing centres in India led by majors like Suzlon.[68] By 2025.[61][62] Mexico recently opened La Venta II wind power project as a step toward reducing Mexico's consumption of fossil fuels.has given additional impetus to the Indian wind industry.[63] Another growing market is Brazil.451 MW. with a wind potential of 143 GW.000 MW of wind energy. Sempra Energy announced it would build a wind farm in Baja California. For example. with total capacity doubling from the 684 MW at end-2005.[66] This growth was fed by measures including installation targets. with a capacity of at least 1. By 2012 the project will have a capacity of 3.[64] South Africa has a proposed station situated on the West Coast north of the Olifants River mouth near the town of Koekenaap. economic incentives and political support.5 billion. though their installation trends over the past few years suggest they'll fall well short of their goal. the Ontario government announced that it will introduce a feedin tariff for wind power.500 MW installed by 2010. Canada will reach its capacity of 55. France has announced a target of 12. Vestas. The station is proposed to have a total output of 100 MW although there are negotiations to double this capacity. Annual Wind Power Generation (TW·h) and total electricity consumption (TW·h) for 10 largest countries[1][69][70][71][72][73][74] 2005 Nat W ion W Cap Tot Cap in in acit % al acit % d d y De y po po Fac man Fac we we 2006 2007 2008 2009 W Tot Cap Tot in al acit % al d De y De po ma Fac man we Wi Cap nd acit % po y we Fac W Tot Cap in al acit % d De y po ma Fac we Tot al De ma .[60] Muppandal village in Tamil Nadu state. Micon among others. referred to as 'Standard Offer Contracts'.500 MW. and showing an annual growth rate of 38%. In May 2010. the provincially owned electric utility plans to purchase an additional 2000 MW by 2013. Canada experienced rapid growth of wind capacity between 2000 and 2006. east of Vredendal in the Western Cape province. has several wind turbine farms in its vicinity.India.[67] In Quebec. which may boost the wind industry across the province.000 MW. with total installed capacity increasing from 137 MW to 1. and will provide 13 percent of the electricity needs of the state of Oaxaca. or 20% of the country's energy needs.[65] Particularly rapid growth was seen in 2006.

2 5% 8 4 7% .1 5.5 8 2% % % % % % Uni ted 8 Kin gdo m 2.1 0 0 2 2% . 16. 611 37 2 man 1 4 6 6 .3 3 Spa in 20 23. 18. 267 7% . 27.9 4% . 30 17. 1. 21. 47. 13. 9 2% 0. 7. 352 5. 0. 325 [7 12. 9 0% 0.5 4% 9. 18.9 6] 0% 6. 1. 19. 283 [7 10. 330.3 15. 726 14 21. 5.4 581 % . 342 26 12. 834 9 0 9 77 2 6 8% . 7.5 % % % % 9 Port 1. 9.3 % % % % 6 Ital y 2.9 4 4 0 1% . 268 27 20. 494 7. 3 2% 0.1 .1 Ger 27 16. 13.9 3 5% 0 4% . 3.6 % % % % 13. 20. 339. 21. 355. 19.0 4 Chi na 1.r tor d r tor nd r tor d r tor nd r tor nd Uni 0. 2.7 7 2% 4.6 1% 8. 0. 31. 679. 405 34 23.4 0 6% 3 8% .5 7% 9 4 3 . 404 26 26. 482. 5. 352.9 . 339 7 9 0 2 4. 22 22. 50. 0. 247 3.7 5% 7. 23. 414 52. 337 [7 16. 8. 569 38 19. 4.8 395 % 1. 6 9 0 .4 5] 6% 5. 3 3% 0. 0. 24. 16.6 . 774. 4. 0. 0. 478 4. 1.9 2% 4% 0.2 9% 7 . 0.6 1 486 4 2 0% . 6. 9 6% 0.9 . 1. 50.8 2% 8. 0. 2.5 7] 7% 9 7% . 480. 410 70 1 ted 4 7 8 3 . 23. 17.7 0% 7 8 6% .9 5. 282 36 9 5 8 .9 0 5% 8. 350 8 2 5 7. 30. 49. 584. 15. 8.7 364 1 1 6 2 8 4 4. 19. 4. 3. 22. .8 Stat % % % % es 1. 16. 1. 533.1 7 .2 % % % % y 6. 14.5 % % % % 7 Fra nce 0. 16. 49. 17. 1.1 .7 11 2. 1.7 0% . 5.8 .8 . 276.7 . 40. 0. 17 22. 15. 1.9 . 6. 1.3 % % % % 5 Indi a 6.6 2 5 8 5. 1. 11 260. 12. .

Energy more than doubled between 2006 and 2008 in the table above. so offshore wind power¶s contribution in terms of electricity supplied is higher. 19. 7. l 6 46[7 4.ugal 7 0% % 9 3% % 2 0 2% % 7% % 6 5 0% 9 1 Den 0 mar k 18 16 19 19 6. yet nameplate capacity (table on left) grew by 63% in the same period.1 6 0% 1 2% 4 2 3% 9% 2 % % % % Wo rld tota 0. 26. 6. 36.0 %[ 1] Power analysis Turbine size has increased faster than generator size. and energy produced has been rising faster than nameplate power capacity.4 6.7 12 0. 36. 26 24. 16. 7 3.7 36.9 . 17 0. 22. . 24.5 35. 15. Sweden Offshore wind power refers to the construction of wind farms in bodies of water to generate electricity from wind. 19.8 . 21. 99 19.[81] . 24. Offshore wind power Main article: Offshore wind power Aerial view of Lillgrund Wind Farm. so that newer turbines generally hit maximum power at lower speeds[80]. 9 53[7 5 .7 . Better wind speeds are available offshore compared to on land.5 2% 2% 790 1% 0 5% 8] 9] (T % 9 % 3 % % W· h) 34 0[1 ] 2.8 1.

[81] Small-scale wind power Further information: Microgeneration This wind turbine charges a 12 V batteryto run 12 V appliances. Offshore wind power capacity is expected to reach a total of 75 GW worldwide by 2020. 3. that may otherwise rely ondiesel generators may use wind turbines to displace diesel fuel consumption.[81] As of October 2010. Individuals may purchase these systems to reduce or eliminate their dependence on grid electricity for economic or other reasons. mainly in Northern Europe. Wind turbines have been used for household electricity generation in conjunction with battery storage over many decades in remote areas. Equipment such as parking meters or wireless Internet gateways may be powered by a wind turbine that charges a small battery. Small-scale wind power is the name given to wind generation systems with the capacity to produce up to 50 kW of electrical power. especially at street-level. or to reduce their carbon footprint.Vattenfall and E.[83] The risks associated with mechanical or catastrophic failure . photovoltaic or diesel systems to supplement the wind turbine.Siemens and Vestas are the leading turbine suppliers for offshore wind power. Dong Energy.16 GW of offshore wind power capacity was operational. with significant contributions from China and the United States. Grid-connected wind turbines may use grid energy storage. In locations near or around a group of high-rise buildings. Off-grid system users can either adapt to intermittent power or use batteries.[82] Isolated communities. displacing purchased energy with local production when available. According to BTM Consult. replacing the need for a connection to the power grid.on are the leading offshore operators. more than 16 GW of additional capacity will be installed before the end of 2014 and the United Kingdom and Germany will become the two leading markets. wind shear generates areas of intense turbulence.

[85] Moreover.[88] Economics and feasibility 5 kilowatt Vertical axis wind turbine .5 terawatt hours (TW·h) per year of electricity (0. as little is known about the actual wind resources of towns and cities.4% of total UK electricity consumption). quantifying the amount of wind in urban areas has been difficult. saving 0. around 12 pence (US 19 cents) a kW·h.[87] Distributed generation from renewable resources is increasing as a consequence of the increased awareness of climate change. This is based on the assumption that 10% of households would install turbines at costs competitive with grid electricity.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (Mt CO2) emission savings.[86] A new Carbon Trust study into the potential of small-scale wind energy has found that small wind turbines could provide up to 1. The electronic interfaces required to connect renewable generation units with the utility system can include additional functions. such as the active filtering to enhance the power quality.have thus plagued urban wind development in densely populated areas.[84] rendering the costs of insuring urban wind systems prohibitive.

coal at $53.50. estimated annual production.10/MW·h and natural gas at $52. which may be in excess of twenty years.[89] Cost per unit of energy produced was estimated in 2006 to be comparable to the cost of new generating capacity in the US for coal and natural gas: wind cost was estimated at $55. and other components. the presence of wind energy. and Carbon capture and storage). following 32% growth in 2006.[91] However.27 jobs. The estimated average cost per unit incorporates the cost of construction of the turbine and transmission facilities. Despite constraints facing supply chains for wind turbines. wind energy cost a fifth of what it did in the 1980s. the annual market for wind continued to increase at an estimated rate of 37%. even when subsidised. taking the total installed wind energy capacity to 94 GW.[96] Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) figures show that 2007 recorded an increase of installed capacity of 20 GW. Clean coal. the wind energy sector has become one of the important players in the energy markets.[94] .80 per MW·h. A British Wind Energy Association report gives an average generation cost of onshore wind power of around 3.[94][not in citation given] compared to ¼1. return to investors (including cost of risk). borrowed funds.[95][clarification needed] Not as many facilities can produce large modern turbines and their towers and foundations. In terms of economic value. with the total value of new generating equipment installed in 2007 reaching ¼25 billion. or US$36 billion.2 pence (between US 5 and 6 cents) per kW·h (2005).[93] However. by raising energy costs and driving away electricity-intensive businesses.[92] In 2004. but a high capital cost.[90] Other sources in various studies have estimated wind to be more expensive than other sources (see Economics of new nuclear power plants. so constraints develop in the supply of turbines resulting in higher costs. up from 74 GW in 2006. can reduce costs for consumers (¼5 billion/yr in Germany) by reducing the marginal price by minimising the use of expensive 'peaker plants'.300 a kW in 2007.Windmill with rotating sails Relative cost of electricity by generation source See also: Relative cost of electricity generated by different sources Growth and cost trends Wind power has negligible fuel costs.100 a kW in 2005. installed cost averaged ¼1. Energy cost estimates are highly dependent on these assumptions so published cost figures can differ substantially. averaged over the projected useful life of the equipment. A 2009 study on wind power in Spain by the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos concluded that each installed MW of wind power destroyed 4. and some expected that downward trend to continue as larger multi-megawatt turbines were mass-produced.

35 percent by 2013 and 8 percent by 2018. The study assumes six 1.World Map of available wind power for theUnited States.UK . since the resource available is far larger than any practical means to develop it. In the forecast to 2013 the expected average annual growth rate is 15. 77 m diameter turbines per square kilometer on roughly 13% of the total global land area (though that land would also be available for other compatible uses such as farming). For example. The practical limit to exploitation of wind power will be set by economic and environmental factors. Theoretical potential . the estimated cost of new wind power capacity may be lower than that for "new coal" (estimated average costs for new generation capacity) but higher than for "old coal" (marginal cost of production for existing capacity).7 percent. not estimated average costs at project inception. Theoretical potential .[97][98] More than 200 GW of new wind power capacity could come on line before the end of 2013.5 megawatt.000 MToE (million tons of oil equivalent) per year. equivalent to 54. Wind power available in the atmosphere is much greater than current world energy consumption. and the decision to continue production will depend on marginal costs going forward. The potential takes into account only locations with mean annual wind speeds • 6. Therefore.Although the wind power industry will be impacted by the global financial crisis in 2009 and 2010. a BTM Consult five year forecast up to 2013 projects substantial growth.[97][98] Existing generation capacity represents sunk costs.9 m/s at 80 m. or over five times the world's current energy use in all forms. Color codes indicate wind power density class. Wind power market penetration is expected to reach 3. The most comprehensive study as of 2005[99] found the potential of wind power on land and nearshore to be 72 TW. Over the past five years the average growth in new installations has been 27. the choice to increase wind capacity will depend on factors including the profile of existing generation capacity.6 percent each year. The authors acknowledge that many practical barriers would need to be overcome to reach this theoretical capacity.

thereby ensuring more stable returns for projects at the development stage. the marginal revenue of the wind sector as penetration increases may diminish.[citation needed] This may be of particular concern if the output of many wind plants in a market have strong temporal correlation. which typically set revenue levels.000 GWe which is to be compared with the average UK demand of about 40 GWe. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. In some regions this is partly because frequent strong winds themselves have discouraged dense human settlement in especially windy areas. Electricity prices are highly regulated worldwide. The wind which was historically a nuisance is now becoming a valuable resource. Since the primary cost of producing wind energy is construction and there are no fuel costs. Where the price for electricity is based on market mechanisms. If wind represents a significant portion of supply. revenue for all producers per unit is higher when their production coincides with periods of higher prices. The profitability of wind farms will therefore be higher if their production schedule coincides with these periods. requiring substantially more money to construct new transmission lines and substations. let alone indirect subsidies or negative externalities.(December 2010) Many potential sites for wind farms are far from demand centres. these prices may be different than purchase prices from other sources. but it may be far from large populations which developed in areas more sheltered from wind. such as the cost of capital and years of assumed service. average revenue per unit of production may be lower as more expensive and less-efficient forms of generation. whereby the system operator undertakes to purchase power from wind at a fixed price for a certain period (perhaps up to a limit). and in many locations may not reflect the full cost of production.[101] Since the cost of capital plays a large part in projected cost. The marginal cost of wind energy once a plant is constructed is usually less than 1 cent per kW·h. . In economic terms.[100] Direct costs This article needs additional citations for verification. Customers may enter into longterm pricing contracts for wind to reduce the risk of future pricing changes. risk (as perceived by investors) will affect projected costs per unit of electricity. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. These may take the form of standard offer contracts. and even incorporate an implicit subsidy. are displaced from economic dispatch. The commercial viability of wind power also depends on the price paid to power producers. the average cost of wind energy per unit of production depends on a few key assumptions. The maximum case considered was beyond 200 km from shore and in depths of 100 ± 700 m (necessitating floating wind turbines) and this gave an average resource of 2.A recent estimate gives the total potential average output for UK for various depth and distance from the coast.

000 wind turbines atAltamont Pass. and in return they can claim that they are making a powerful "green" effort. Companies use wind-generated power. Secondary market forces also provide incentives for businesses to use wind-generated power. such as exemption from property tax. Wind energy benefits from subsidies in many jurisdictions. Another tax benefit is accelerated depreciation. and additional markets for "green credits". either to increase its attractiveness. Many American states also provide incentives. The Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 contains extensions of credits for wind. In the United States.[103] Full costs and lobbying Commenting on the EU's 2020 renewable energy target.Incentives Some of the over 6. socially responsible manufacturerspay utility companies a premium that goes to subsidize and build new wind power infrastructure. including microturbines. this wind farm has more turbines than any other in the United States. mandated purchases. United States. Developed during a period of tax incentives in the 1980s. In the USA the organization Green-e monitors business compliance with these renewable energy credits. with assured grid access (sometimes referred to as feed-in tariffs). the credit has a yearly inflationary adjustment. in California. even if there is a premium price for the electricity. wind power receives a tax credit for each kW·h produced. such as tax credits or minimum purchase prices for wind generation.9 cents per kW·h in 2006. Countries such as Canada andGermany also provide incentives for wind turbine construction. Helm (2009) is critical of how the costs of wind power are citied by lobbyists:[104] . at 1. These feed-in tariffs are typically set well above average electricity prices. or to compensate for subsidies received by other forms of production which have significant negative externalities. For example. [102] Wind energy in many jurisdictions receives some financial or other support to encourage its development.

by more reliable means Helm (2009) says that wind's problem of intermittent supply will probably lead to another dash-forgas or dash-for-coal in Europe. go for a wider cost base (for example. A House of Lords Select Committee report (2008) on renewable energy in the UK says:[105] We have a particular concern over the prospective role of wind generated and other intermittent sources of electricity in the UK. spending about $5 million in 2009 after years of relative obscurity in Washington. so it cannot be relied upon to meet peak demand. remain significantly higher than those of conventional or nuclear generation (even before allowing for support costs and the environmental impacts of wind farms). the wind power industry has recently increased its lobbying efforts considerably. when considering the alternatives. invoking the peak oilhypothesis). for good measure.[106] Environmental effects Main article: Environmental effects of wind power . back-up conventional plant and grid connection). Yet the evidence presented to us implies that the full costs of wind generation (allowing for intermittency. possibly with a negative impact on energy security. assume that the costs will fall over time with R&D and large-scale deployment. second. the evidence suggests that the capacity credit of wind power (its probable power output at the time of need) is very low. in any event. Thus wind generation needs to be viewed largely as additional capacity to that which will need to be provided. in the absence of a break-through in electricity storage technology or the integration of the UK grid with that of continental Europe. and. define the cost base as narrowly as possible.For those with an economic interest in capturing as much of the climate-change pork barrel as possible. Wind generation offers the most readily available short-term enhancement in renewable electricity and its base cost is relatively cheap. focusing on the full fuel-cycle costs of nuclear and coal-mining for coal generation) and assume that these technologies are mature. and even that costs might rise (for example. although declining over time. Furthermore. there are two ways of presenting the costs [of wind power] in a favourable light: first. And.[104] In the United States.

Fossil fuel generation kills around twenty times as many birds per unit of energy produced than wind-farms. the Massachusetts Cape Wind project was delayed for years mainly because of aesthetic concerns. many land uses such as agriculture are compatible. studies show that the number of birds killed by wind turbines is very low compared to the number of those that die as a result of certain other ways of generating electricity and especially of the environmental impacts of using non-clean power sources.000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines in the U. the overwhelming majority of locals believe that .[111] However. a scientist from UMKC in Kansas City. The energy consumed to manufacture and transport the materials used to build a wind power plant is equal to the new energy produced by the plant within a few months of operation. While a wind farm may cover a large area of land. Wind power consumes no fuel. unlike fossil fuel power sources.[108][109] Garrett Gross.[110] Danger to birds and bats has been a concern in some locations. the visual impact.S.000 . "The impact made on the environment is very little when compared to what is gained. repeated opinion surveys have shown that more than 70% of people either like. In the UK.5 years of operation for offshore turbines. the environmental effects of wind power are relatively minor. According to a town councillor in Ardrossan. or do not mind. and emits no air pollution.Livestock ignore wind turbines.[112] Bat species appear to be at risk during key movement periods. with only small areas of turbine foundations and infrastructure made unavailable for use. Aesthetics have also been an issue. Compared to the environmental effects of traditional energy sources. Offshore wind sites 10 km or more from shore do not interact with bat populations. American Bird Conservancy cites studies that indicate that about 10." The initial carbon dioxide emission from energy used in the installation is "paid back" within about 2.40. Almost nothing is known about current populations of these species and the impact on bat numbers as a result of mortality at windpower locations. Scotland. Missouri states. In the USA. and say that number may rise substantially as wind capacity increases in the absence of mandatory guidelines. [107] and continue to graze as they did before wind turbines were installed.

[113] Noise has also been an issue. law suits and complaints have been filed in several states.[citation needed] In turn. environmental changes can affect wind power generation. vibrations and resulting lost property values in homes and businesses located close to industrial wind turbines. saying that the turbines are impressive looking and bring a calming effect to the town. . In the United States. A model reported in the November 2010 issue of the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy suggests that average wind speed over China could decline and cause a 14% loss of energy production by the latter part of the 21st century. increased forest growth.[114] With careful implanting of the wind turbines. or the shadowing effect of wind farms themselves. along with use of noise reducing-modifications for the wind turbines however. these issues can be addressed. Wind speeds may be declining due to climate change.the Ardrossan Wind Farm has enhanced the area. citing noise. a decline of wind speeds would reduce energy yield [115].