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Using the United States Wind Turbine Database to Identify Increasing Turbine Size, Capacity and Other Development Trends

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Document pages: 25 pages

Abstract: The purpose of this article was to analyze data associatedwith advances in wind energy across the United States. While governments,academia, and the private sector generally know patterns of wind turbinedevelopment (i.e. turbine size andcapacity growing in recent years), there is no known independent, reliable,and or updated summary of these variables. Using data collected by the LawrenceBerkeley National Laboratory and partners, this study used descriptivestatistics to show turbine development and growth patterns from 1981-2019. The newly created United States WindTurbine Database (USWTDB) represents the most comprehensive account ofwind turbine information and was updated in January 2020. Variables I aminterested in here are turbine manufacturer, state of project, turbine andproject capacity, and turbine size. Findings provide empirical evidence tosupport the common, yet previously unrefined statements that wind turbines aregrowing larger in number, size and capacity. This growth is varied over spatialand temporal scales. I also provide evidence to show patterns of turbinemanufacturing, with GE Wind dominating much of the US wind energy landscapetoday. I hope this work provides a timely resource for those interested in avariety of questions surrounding wind energy development in the United States.Perhaps more importantly, this analysis will hopefully inspire others to usewhat the USWTDB provides and answer larger questions surrounding wind energyfutures.

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