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From AWEA's Windpower Outlook 2010 (pdf!):

U.S. winds can supply 9 times electricity demand
Estimates of the U.S. wind resource have consistently found it to be abundant. That conclusion was underlined in early 2010 when the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released a new assessment finding that U.S. winds could generate 37 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, or nearly nine times the nation's total electricity use (see map). NREL's findings revealed sharp increases in several Midwestern states (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri in particular), owing to the wind speeds at higher elevations in those states that can be tapped with taller turbines.

Indeed if you check this document, which indicates a wind potential twice the current US consumption, you'll see it is based on 1991 data for wind speeds at 50 m hub height. But typical hub heights today are more like twice of that, and turbines can be supplied with blades and gear ratios optimised for lower wind speeds.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Jul 2nd, 2010 at 06:39:29 AM EST
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