The Progress of Wind Generation Systems
The purpose of this research is to provide information and resources to keep the electrical contractor up-to-date with wind generation system advancements in order to capitalize on this high growth market. Researchers are currently conducting applied research to improve the understanding of technical issues affecting wind energy. It is their belief that addressing these technical issues will improve performance and lower costs. Applied research tends to be focused on four general areas: aerodynamics, structures and fatigue, advanced components, and wind characteristics. While there are other areas that will be identified and included in this proposed research project, the areas of research previously mentioned cover a significant amount of the research that applies directly to the electrical contractor and its ability to remain competitive in this market.
Wind power and photovoltaics are two of the highest-growth technology sectors on the planet, growing by more than 30% annually. In many regions, wind power is now the most cost-competitive new energy source, averaging US 4.5 cents per kWh — with construction, operation, and maintenance costs running less than most fossil fuel-powered plants. The most recent forecasts see clean-energy markets growing from less than US $7 billion in 2000 to more than US $82 billion by 2010. The market for energy-efficient goods and services—already US $33 billion in the US—will grow by more than 8% a year for the next three years and will include a growing percentage of clean-energy goods and services.