New Wind Turbine Technology On The Horizon

With the U.S. Department of Energy’s vision of generating 20 percent of U.S. electricity from wind, put forth in their (aptly named) 2008 report 20% Wind Energy by 2030, we need as many people as we can get working on it. Bringing together the U.S’s leading renewable energy lab – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Gamesa, a wind power production company, public meets private looks quite promising. The two are joining together to study and develop the “next generation of wind turbines” designed specifically for the U.S. market.

NREL brings to the table the most extensive wind-turbine testing facility in the U.S., where Gamesa has already contributed their G97 Class IIIA 2.0 MW wind turbine model as the test platform. Playing with new designs, products, and equipment, the team will study the systems’ behavior and performance in order to develop new wind turbine components and rotors for the U.S. market; research and test new control strategies; and create models to develop offshore wind turbines for the U.S. coastal waters.

Gamesa Wind Turbine

image via Gamesa

According to the American Wind Energy Association, after 2011 the U.S.’s total wind capacity is 46,919 megawatts. And the Energy Information Administration reported this March that in 2011 wind generation increased 27 percent, and is now close to meeting 3 percent of the nation’s total electricity demand. But while wind energy is on the rise, major efforts are needed to bring that number up 17 percentage points in 18 years.

Angeli Duffin is a Midwest transplant currently living in San Francisco, CA. Kicking off her career doing product design and development with Fair Trade artisans around the world, she then moved on to the editorial side, writing for eBay’s Green Team blog and working as a marketing consultant for social and environmentally minded companies


  • Reply March 25, 2012

    Barry L Alexander

    I bet the article really means 20% of electricity.  Total energy would include all transportation, heating by gas etc.  That is not going to happen any time soon like at least 30 years.  Otherwise great to use effective electric generation.

    • Reply March 25, 2012

      Pete Danko

      Exactly right, Barry. We have changed the wording to make that clear. Thank you for your comment.
      Pete Danko, EarthTechling

  • Reply April 15, 2012

    Roger Cole

    So, after 2011 the U.S.’s total wind capacity is 46,919 megawatts – close to 3 percent of the nation’s total electricity. Very interesting, but given the average output of onshore wind farms of 25% of capacity, this means that the real number here is only 0.75 of 1% of the nation’s electricity.

    Enough of the propaganda and wishful thinking please.

    • Reply April 15, 2012

      Pete Danko

      No, that’s incorrect, Roger, although the story is written in a way that could lead to misinterpretation (and I’m now going to fix it!). The 3 percent figure is wind’s proportion of U.S. electricity generation, not capacity. See this from the Energy Information Administration: 

      Thanks for your comment.

      Pete Danko
      Managing Editor, EarthTechling

    • Reply July 2, 2012

      Tom Locklear

      this wasn’t claimed capacity, it was based on energy supplied. not hard to figure that out. so what if it’s 1% now. are you aware of how many businesses are going to self produced energy? free energy is good for the bottom line. even though john and mary smith haven’t figured that out, a lot of big businesses have.

  • Reply April 25, 2012


    This past winter wind accounted for a little over 20% of electricity in Texas, probabliity due to the mild winter.  IMO the goal for the country should be 20% by 2020 not 2030.

  • Reply May 14, 2012

    Salad-anal_penis fisih

    uhm go fuck yourself

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