System efficiency of US wind power generation is declining

07/30/2021 ∙ by Peter Regner, et al. ∙ 0

US Wind power generation has grown significantly over the last decades, contributing to the decarbonisation of the US power system. However, the technology also causes negative impacts. Technological progress and choice of locations could, however, decrease these impacts per unit of generated wind power. We assess for the US, which has the second largest wind power fleet globally, how these factors have changed in the period 2010–2019. For that purpose, we combine wind power generation time series, data on installed wind turbines, and wind speed time series to decompose the growth of US wind power generation into its driving factors. We show that wind resources per rotor swept area have increased during the last decade, but system efficiency, i.e. the relation of kinetic power in the wind to wind power generation, has declined stronger. Therefore, less electric power was extracted per rotor swept area in 2019 than 10 years before.



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