The potential of wind power to help meet America's growing demand for electricity is staggering, say experts.
"According to a definitive 1993 study by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, areas of strong winds cover about 6 percent of the mainland states and, if exploited, could supply more than current U.S. electricity consumption."
"Conversely, just 0.6 percent of the land of the contiguous 48 states would have to be developed with wind turbine farms to provide 15 percent of the nation's electricity requirements."
As specialists gather this month and next for two of the biggest conferences yet devoted to wind energy, many participants will be wondering whether the technology is now ready or almost ready for very large scale deployment.
- Can the power grid handle massive amounts of variable production?
- Can wind energy be delivered where it's needed when it's needed?
- Can wind energy harnessed at times of low demand be stored for high-demand periods?
- Can new storage technologies be devised so that wind energy would become, in effect, dispatchable?
Karl Stahlkopf, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Hawaiian Electric Co., answers all those questions in the affirmative.
See Taking Wind Mainstream, by Karl Stahlkopf
Expert, Consultant and Guest Speaker on emerging Smart Technologies, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Lateral Creative Thinking and author of an upcoming book on the Smart Economy "
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