The US Energy Department has released a new report looking at the future of wind power through 2050 and the economic benefits that come with a robust wind industry. The report, Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States, confirms that with technological advancements driving projected cost reductions, in combination with continued siting and transmission development, wind power can be economically deployed to provide renewable power in all 50 states.
The report highlights the importance of wind in the nation’s energy portfolio and how critical it is to advance wind’s position in the energy marketplace to maintain the nation’s existing wind manufacturing infrastructure and economic benefits. The report includes a roadmap that defines actions needed to realize the substantial economic and social benefits of a robust wind energy future. Through continued cost reductions and further investments in wind energy systems, wind power is projected to be directly competitive with conventional energy technologies within the next decade. The report projects that wind could support more than 600,000 jobs by 2050 in industries such as construction, engineering, transportation, manufacturing, operations, maintenance, and supporting services. The nine core “action areas” in the report’s roadmap range from technology advancement to workforce development, and are designed to help remove hurdles to wind power deployment, while leveraging and boosting U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and the domestic clean energy workforce. Carrying out the roadmap actions could also reduce the cost of implementing future policy measures.