Featured Wind Energy Research Reports

The American Planning Association. (2011). Planning for Wind Energy (PDF 5.6 MB)

The APA offers this report to help community planners build stakeholder support and provide key technical information to public officials. APA partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Clarion Associates, and the American Wind Energy Association to produce Planning for Wind Energy with funding from the Department of Energy.

American Wind Energy Association; Solar Energy Industries Association. (2009). Green Power Superhighways: Building a Path to America’s Clean Energy Future (PDF 3 MB)

The United States is home to vast quantities of clean energy resources – wind, solar, geothermal, and hydropower. Yet it lacks a modern interstate transmission grid to deliver carbon-free electricity to customers in highly populated areas of the country. President Obama has called for the United States to double the production of renewable energy in three years and to secure 25% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2025. Achieving this will require a cohesive effort from local, state, and federal officials and significant new investment in our transmission infrastructure. This paper highlights the barriers that hinder investment in transmission infrastructure and identify potential policy solutions to overcome those barriers.

Brookings Institution. (2012). Beyond Boom and Bust: Putting Clean Tech on a Path to Subsidy Independence

In the absence of significant and timely energy policy reform, the recent boom in U.S. clean tech sectors could falter. Driven by private innovation and entrepreneurship as well as critical public sector support in the form of tax credits, grants, and loan guarantees, several clean energy technology (or “clean tech”) segments have grown robustly in recent years while making progress on cost and performance. Despite this recent success, however, nearly all clean tech segments in the United States remain reliant on production and deployment subsidies and other supportive policies to gain an expanding foothold in today’s energy markets. Now, many of these subsidies and policies are poised to expire—with substantial implications for the clean tech industry. This report examines the coming changes to federal clean tech subsidies and programs (Part 1); examines their likely impact on key clean tech market segments (Part 2); and charts a course of policy reform that can advance the U.S. clean tech industry beyond today’s cycle of boom and bust (Part 3). Along the way, this report provides a comprehensive analysis of the spending trajectory of 92 distinct federal policies and programs supporting clean tech sectors over the 2009 to 2014 period.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (2012). Long-Term System Assessment for the ERCOT Region (PDF 6.4 MB)

The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc. (ERCOT) study the need for increased transmission and generation capacity throughout the state of Texas and must report on these needs to the Legislature during each even-numbered year. This 2012 report provides the typical 10-year analysis required by Texas Statute as well as a 20-year, forward-looking assessment funded by the Department of Energy that was conducted in parallel with similar assessments for the Eastern and Western Interconnects. This report finds that if you use updated wind and solar power characteristics like cost and actual output (rather than the previously used 2006 assumed characteristics), wind and solar are more competitive than natural gas over the next 20 years.

Energy Future Coalition. (2011). Change the Rules, Hurry the Future. Challenges and Opportunities on the Path to a New Energy Future (PDF 1.9 MB)

Energy systems are big and slow to change, but the world has clearly begun a transition to a low-carbon future – a transition that will involve trillions of dollars of investment and that is highly likely to pick up speed over the coming years. This report provides a context for decision-makers to evaluate spending and policy options.

Global Wind Energy Council. (2013). Global Wind Statistics 2012 (PDF 1.4 MB)

Wind power reached a new peak of 282 gigawatts of total installed capacity in 2012.

Journal of Power Sources. (2013). Cost-Minimized Combinations of Wind Power, Solar Power and Electrochemical Storage, Powering the Grid up to 99.9% of the Time

The authors conclude: “At 2030 technology costs and with excess electricity displacing natural gas, we find that the electric system can be powered 90%–99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity, at costs comparable to today’s—but only if we optimize the mix of generation and storage technologies.”

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (2013). A Spatial Hedonic Analysis of the Effects of Wind Energy Facilities on Surrounding Property Values in the United States (PDF 400 KB)

This work builds on Berkeley Lab’s 2009 study (PDF 3.7 MB), which also investigated impacts on home values near wind facilities, by amassing a much larger dataset of home sales near wind facilities than had previously been collected. With wind energy expanding rapidly, and with an increasing number of communities considering wind development, there continues to be an urgent need to empirically investigate common community concerns. By analyzing one such concern, the potential impact of wind facilities on residential property values, this study provides stakeholders in the siting process a common base of knowledge from which to work. As part of the new study, Berkeley Lab analyzed more than 50,000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine U.S. states. In summary, the research did not find any statistically identifiable impacts of wind facilities to nearby home property values.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; National Renewable Energy Laboratory; U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service. (2012). Ex Post Analysis of Economic Impacts from Wind Power Development in U.S. Counties

The study provides a first-of-its-kind analysis of the impact of wind power development in the United State on county-level employment and personal income across 130 counties within 12 states. The journal article is available for a fee.

MIT Energy Initiative. (2010). The Future of Natural Gas

Natural gas has moved to the center of the current debate on energy, security, and climate. This report examines the role of natural gas in a carbon-constrained world, with a time horizon out to mid-century.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2013). 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book (PDF 9 MB)

This document provides facts and figures on energy in general, renewable electricity in the United States, and global renewable energy development and investments.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2012). Built-Environment Wind Turbine Roadmap(PDF 1.7 MB)

The Built-Environment Wind Turbine Roadmap provides a framework for achieving the vision set forth by the attendees of the Built-Environment Wind Turbine Workshop on August 11-12, 2010, at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The roadmap outlines the stakeholder actions that could be taken to overcome the barriers identified. The actions are categorized as near-term (0-3 years), medium-term (4-7 years), and both near- and medium-term (requiring immediate to medium-term effort). To accomplish these actions, a strategic approach was developed that identifies two focus areas: understanding the built-environment wind resource and developing testing and design standards. The authors summarize the expertise and resources required in these areas.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2012). Made with Renewable Energy: How and Why Companies are Labeling Consumer Products (PDF 1.5 MB)

This report discusses the experience of companies that communicate to consumers that their products are ‘made with renewable energy.’ Researchers interviewed representatives from 20 companies and discussed their experiences marketing products produced using renewable energy. The first half of this report provides an overview of the companies that have labeled products or advertised them as being made with renewable energy and how companies describe their use of renewable energy. The second half of the report focuses on the motivations for making on-product claims about the use of renewable energy and the challenges in doing so.

U.S. Department of Energy. (2008). 20% Wind Energy by 2030: Increasing Wind Energy’s Contribution to U.S. Electricity Supply (PDF 558 KB)

This technical report examines costs, major impacts, and challenges associated with a 20% wind scenario. The report finds that the nation possesses affordable wind energy resources far in excess of those needed to enable 20% wind energy. The DOE plans to update the report via the Wind Vision project.