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  (Source: Slice of MIT)
America continues pushing toward cleaner energy today

The UN-supported organization, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), conducted a study that shows half of new power generated in the United States in 2009 was renewable energy.

The U.S. has taken great strides toward mass use of renewable energy. Just last year, 10 gigawatts of wind power capacity was installed in the United States, which can power 2.4 million homes. Other advancements in clean energy were made last year as well, such as the $7 million grant for Argonne National Laboratory from the U.S. Department of Energy to further solar power research.

More recently, the Obama Administration has continued contributing funds to keep renewable energy research rolling along. In April, the U.S. government approved the country's first off-shore wind farm, despite those who protested the idea, and just this month, Obama gave a hefty sum of $1.85 billion for new solar energy plants to be built around the U.S.  In addition, a promising 73 percent of Americans want to cut fossil fuel dependency in favor of cleaner methods. 

While the U.S. is moving along in regards to green technology, other countries around the world have been joining the revolution for a cleaner planet too by implementing new ideas in green technology. 

In Europe, 60 percent of new power generation in 2009 was in the form of renewable energy. But China has made the most progress when it comes to green technology by manufacturing more solar panels and wind turbines than any other country, as well as adding of 37 gigawatts of renewable energy to China's overall power generation capacity. Worldwide, renewable energy accounts for 25 percent of total power generation and provided 18 percent of the Earth's electricity in 2009. 

Despite these strides in the growing use of renewable energy, the U.S. has a long way to go before they accomplish the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of having 20 percent of America's power derived from wind by 2030.



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By CrimsonWolf on 7/16/2010 4:08:49 PM , Rating: 4
And the title is misleading too.

This report uses the nameplate capacity of the wind turbines, which is the maximum capacity at which the wind turbines can generate electricity. The trouble with wind turbines though is that they rarely run at full capacity thanks to seasonality and daily wind patterns.

Overall, wind turbines tend to run at about 1/3 of their nameplate capacity, which is a huge difference. When performing economic or operational analysis, the capacity of a wind turbine is usually de-rated to reflect its typical operating profile. The variability of wind has major consequences and it's important to get it right when considering how wind integrates into a given electricity market.

Nuclear, coal, and to some extant gas, typically run at high capacity factors so we'd actually see most of that electricity coming out of non-renewable resources. However, we will NEVER see all 10 GW of the new wind generation actually coming out of those turbines all at once. Something around 2 GW to 4 GW is far more appropriate. To claim all 10 GW of capacity is a dramatic overstatement.




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