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Wind power - Research Paper Example

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1 October 2012 Wind Wind power has the tremendous potential of evolving into a highly exploitable source of electricity worldwide. In the twentieth century, wind energy was largely localized to agricultural and domestic applications providing 1-25 KW of power (TelosNet.com)…
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Research paper wind power
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Wind power

The size of turbines, types of rotors and the manufacturing technologies employed in the production of wind turbines have changed. Advanced methods such as compression moulding and injection moulding for blade manufacturing are being employed in order to reduce the time and cost of production and increase performance (Wind-energy-the-facts.org). Recent developments in the wind turbine technology include the use of vibration isolators for reducing sound, the use of active pitch controls for maintaining the performance even at very high wind speeds, the use of inverters connected to turbines, and the use of advanced manufacturing methods and blade designs. The International Energy Agency (IEA) aims at achieving a total output of 2000 GW of wind power by 2050 (Tanaka 1). There has been an explosive growth in the use of wind power throughout the world. According to the International Wind Energy Development – World Update 2010 report, the market value of wind power is estimated to grow from $96.4 billion to $161.2 billion in the period between 2011 to 2015 (Shahan 1). While wind power supplies 1.92% of the world’s electricity, it is expected to increase to 9.1% by 2020 (Shahan 1). The average rate of growth globally is estimated to be 15.5% annually. Estimates by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International predict a similar growth. The United States is the second fastest growing markets for wind power, the first being China (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). While 10 GW of new wind power capacity were added in 2009, 5.2 GW were added in 2010 and 6.8 GW were added to the US grid in 2011 (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). By 2030, it is expected that the US can fulfill 20% of its electricity requirements from wind power (Shahan 1). According to estimates by the American Wind Energy Association, the potential of producing wind power in the US is about 10.8 trillion kWh annually, which is equal to the energy produced by 20 billion barrels of oil that is the present annual oil supply globally (Layton 3). Wind power provides about 3.23% of the total electricity in the US (Eia.gov). The current wind power capacity of the US is more than 20% of that of the total wind power produced throughout the world. In six states of the US, more than 10% of the total electricity is wind powered, with two of the states having 20% of their electricity requirements being fulfilled by wind energy alone (DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). In the coming decades, wind power can provide for 20% of the total electricity needs of the country. Various government incentives have encouraged the construction and operation of wind power. The United States Wind Energy Policy ensures that incentives in the form of grants, bonus depreciation, and tax credits, such as production and investment tax credits, are provided by the federal and state governments for the installation of machinery for producing wind energy. The Solar, Wind, Waste, and Geothermal Power Production Incentives Act 1990 and the Energy Policy Act (EPACT) 1992 ensure the provision of incentives for production of renewable energy. The production tax credit incentive provided by the US government has been instrumental in expanding the growth of the wind energy industry (Veganverve 1). This incentive however is set to expire in 2012. This incentive offers 2.2 cents per KW-h of energy produced by ... Read More
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