Report: U.S. wind power can lead the way on 50 percent renewables by 2030

Millicent, Australia (Clarke)

Renewables can compose half of the U.S.’s electricity by 2030, with the bulk of the new capacity coming from wind power.

That’s according to an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report that is part of a broader, global analysis. The U.S. report found that wind could provide 22.09 percent of electricity by 2030.

That closely matches what the Department of Energy has found in its “Wind Vision” report. The detailed report, which will be formally released this year, shows that America can achieve 20 percent wind power by 2030.

Under the IRENA analysis, wind would comprise the bulk of the new renewable generation, with 314 gigawatts (GW) of land-based wind power by 2030. In addition, the U.S. wind industry would add another 40 GW of offshore capacity under the IRENA scenario.

“By providing enough power for 18 million American homes, homegrown wind energy already helps establish a more balanced U.S. energy mix,” said American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) spokesperson David Ward, commenting on the IRENA analysis. “Fortunately, reports like IRENA’s or the Department of Energy’s Wind Vision 20 percent wind by 2030 scenario indicate wind has a lot of room to grow in the U.S. With stable, long-term policy in place, U.S. wind farms can continue to grow, saving consumers money and allowing American workers to make more of our own energy right here at home.”

The IRENA report, in fact, underscores the importance of policy in the equation. “Without a widespread and systematic policy shift, the U.S. risks falling far short of this potential,” the report states.


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