DOE: 1/3 of U.S. energy could come from wind by 2050

Photo: wind turbines
Wind turbines transported by train near Denver.

new report by the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that 35 percent of the nation’s electricity could be supplied by wind power by 2050. But in order to get there, the industry needs more tools and new strategies.

Right now wind energy supplies just under 5 percent of the nation’s electricity. Colorado is one of just nine states that have more than 12 percent of annual electricity generation coming from the alternative energy.

The new report, "Wind Vision: A New Era For Wind Power in the United States," contains a roadmap with suggestions for increasing the affordability and use of wind. In particular, it highlights the importance of consistent government policies, referencing expirations of federal incentives like the federal production tax credit, which it said has “created a boom-bust cycle for wind power.”

The report is an update of a similar study conducted in 2008. The Washington Post points out that the study does not take into account the explosive growth of another renewable energy: solar.

Here's a map showing the state of wind power development in the United States, taken from today's report:

Map: Utility-scale wind deployment in the United States, 2013