By Jim Snyder - 01/20/10 04:39 PM EST
The Department of Energy sees a way for wind, despite its intermittency problem, to play a major role in satisfying the power demands of the eastern half of the United States.
DoE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory studied the issue for two years and then released this report on Wednesday that found wind energy can meet 20 percent of demand in the Eastern Interconnection by 2024.
Key to meeting that target is of course transmission lines to carry the wind from the remote places where it often blows the hardest to the cities that need most of the power. Reaching 20 percent requires “significant expansion” of the transmission system, but such an expansion wouldn’t raise electric bills very much, NREL found.