Those of you who’ve been following wind-power know that the US has the potential to produce a whole lot of juice using nothing but turbines–enough, in fact, to power the entire country on an annual basis. But over 12 times that much energy?? Those are the new numbers, according to a new study released by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
According to the US Department of Energy, the new resource maps and wind potential tables presented by the study were developed through a collaborative project between the NREL and AWS Truewind, LLC, of Albany, New York. The maps include the contiguous United States and as well as separate maps for each state, showing the predicted mean annual wind speeds.
The new wind maps found that the U.S. could theoretically generate 37 million gigawatt-hours of wind power per year, according to Ecogeek, which is triple the amount previously thought. According to NREL, the reasons for the dramatic jump since the last study, conducted in 1993, are better wind technology and better data used in the assessment. The potential sites assessed did not include environmentally-protected areas.